'Superhero' fireys battled 20m high flames to save home
AFTER telling firefighters not to put themselves in danger to save her beloved home, a Drake resident was overjoyed to learn the property was saved.
On Monday, Deb Keep was in the tiny village to attend a community meeting organised by the Rural Fire Service, where residents were given an update on the Long Gully Road fire.
By then the fire had been been burning for several days and Ms Keep, 64, who was in Drake to look after her mother, had given up on living in the house she called her sanctuary ever again.
But Ms Keep said she was delighted and "very, very, grateful," when firefighters told her on Wednesday that her home of 12 years had been saved.
She said the crews had gone through dangerous conditions and battled 20m high flames to save her property.
Standing at the Drake Fire Station while Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro were joined by senior emergency services officers to thank local fire crews for their magnificent work, Ms Keep shed tears, but this time they were of joy.
"I thought the place was too dangerous for them to defend, it's along a narrow road," she said.
"I'm living in town while I look after my mother and as the house is unoccupied so it's better to leave it to burn.
"I am so happy to learn my home is safe.
"The firefighters who saved my house are superheroes, but so kind and modest.
"A massive tree has fallen across my driveway so I can't get in there, but I'm so relieved the house was saved."
Ms Keep is now helping to organise donations of stock feed for local residents who are struggling to care for their animals after the bushfire.
"People can call the rural resource centre (community hall) in Drake if they want to help," she said.
Those who would like to donate stock feed or can help repair farm fencing can also call Ms Keep on 0459479119.
To date the Long Gully Rd fire has burnt nearly 48,000 hectares and has been downgraded to "watch and act".
Firefighters are currently undertaking back-burning while benign conditions remain ahead of a predicted return to dangerous conditions next week.