Shane lost his house to the bush fires on 3 January this year and had to start over.
An incredibly generous friend brought a caravan all the way from Western Australia, so he had somewhere to live. With life now restricted to his garlic shed, it took nearly three months just to clear the fire debris. But with a wet, cold winter on its way, he was finally able to start rebuilding.
As Shane says, living in a caravan for four months and waking up to see the remains of his old house was starting to get on top of him a little bit. Now after a hard days work on the farm, he can relax and enjoy a few of the finer things in life!
"It's those simple things in life … to be able to stand under a shower for more than two minutes, to wash that dirt off, wash everything away."
The Disastrous Day That Changed Five Months Of Life
For those of you who missed the full story at the time, Shane is a lieutenant in the Parndana CFS brigade. For over a month he had been courageously helping to fight the raging fires slowly devastating Kangaroo Island. On this particular Friday, 3 January, he was protecting the properties near Cape Borda Road, close to the Ravine fire. During that afternoon, the fire turned into a major firestorm and began travelling quickly to the east towards his property.
At the time, Shane and Benny Gaskin, another brigade member, were told to remain at Cape Borda. West of the fire, they were in a relatively safe location and were eventually able to return to the Parndana station later that same evening. It wasn’t until he returned home around midnight that he realised the devastation that had happened while he was away. As the fire raced across the land, his house had completely burned down.
By a stroke of pure luck, the powerful flames had skirted round the big shed on his property which housed KI Fresh Garlic. Inside, and untouched, were his processing room, freezer and his crates of freshly harvested garlic! Another piece of good news was that his two dogs and their seven puppies were miraculously unharmed (but that’s a whole new blog story).
The Future Now Looks Brighter Every Day
Over the last five months, the generosity and kindness of people have been overwhelming. With tireless hard work and more than a few helping hands, Shane has rebuilt his business and is looking forward to a really good season. Like most of the farming community on Kangaroo Island, it’s been hard graft and fraught with problems, but the outlook is really positive.
Shane’s new home has been a long time coming, but it’s the icing on the cake for him. As he says “After the fires, I have a greater appreciation for the smaller things in life. I appreciate the space in my new home, having hot water and electricity.”
We can’t thank you enough for supporting KI garlic and making these challenging times a bit easier.