A 14-year-old boy covered his face with a wet shirt while using a hose to try and save his home from a bushfire.
Jake Smith, 14, fought desperately to battle the blaze that engulfed his family home in Bobin on the New South Wales mid north coast over the weekend, but was unable to save the house.
Firefighters are battling up to 64 bushfires across NSW including the fire-ravaged north coast where three people died and at least 150 homes were destroyed over the past three days.
Jake’s mother Emily said their house burned to the ground in under half an hour.
Jake Smith (pictured), 14, used a garden hose to battle the flames that engulfed his home in Bobin, on the NSW mid north coast
‘It was gone. By the time my 14-year- old son was up there he had his shirt wet over his head with my partner up there trying to fight the fires,’ she told the Today show on Monday morning.
‘[There was] nothing he could do. He tried. He watched his own house burn to the ground.
‘And his mum wasn’t three to hold him. His mum wasn’t there to cuddle him. He lost everything.’
The teenager was too devastated to speak to reporters on camera.
Just three kilometers up the road, Ms Smith’s neighbour Paul Miscamble’s house was also reduced to rubble.
‘People don’t realise, it’s not just the property loss, but how it affects people,’ he said through tears.
Jake’s mother Emilyc (right) said their house burned to the ground in a matter of just 30 minutes
‘You would have to describe this event as an Ash Wednesday,’ he said. ‘It is moving that fast, it is astronomical.’
‘One can’t describe the shock that you go through, or how fast that fire moves.’
Authorities have also declared a ‘catastrophic’ fire danger for the Greater Sydney region, including the Blue Mountains and the Hunter, on Tuesday.
It’s the first time this warning level has been advised in the 10 years since new fire danger ratings were introduced.
‘Catastrophic is as bad as it gets. Homes are simply not designed to withstand fire under those conditions,’ RFS spokesman Anthony Clark said.
The remains of a property destroyed by bushfire in Bobin
The tiny New South Wales town of Bobin (pictured) was ravaged by bushfires over the weekend
‘We’ve got big population centres covered by that catastrophic fire danger.
‘Up on the north coast, where we’ve simply got a lot of fires burning at the moment, those fires have got a real potential to run and impact on lives and properties on Tuesday.
‘So the risk is very real.’
Meanwhile, all three people who died in the bushfires in NSW have been identified, while all those feared missing have been accounted for.
The dead are Julie Fletcher, 63, whose body was discovered on Saturday in a burned down house in the town of Johns River, north of Taree on the mid-north coast.
The other victims were Vivian Chaplain, 69, and George Nole, both of Wytaliba, in the Glen Innes area.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday visited an evacuation centre in Taree where he met people, including 85-year-old Owen Whalan, who had been forced to flee.
Meanwhile in Queensland, the bushfire threat has eased with authorities scrambling to get on the front foot before conditions worsen again later this week.
Four homes are confirmed lost in the latest fires along with about a dozen other structures.
Crews continue to fight three major fires including one still uncontained at Cobraball, southwest of Yeppoon in central Queensland, where three homes were lost.
Authorities have also declared a ‘catastrophic’ fire danger for the Greater Sydney region, including the Blue Mountains and the Hunter, on Tuesday (pictured: Bobin)