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Woman whose parents were saved from bushfires by a TWEET shares picture of her father

A woman who saved her father from being burned alive with a last-minute tweet shared a photo of the elderly man gazing at the charred remains of his home.

John Duncan, 83, and his wife Cassie were trapped in a metal shed surrounded by flames during bushfires in the northern New South Wales town of Rappville last month.

The retiree called his daughter Carol Duncan to say it was too late to evacuate and the shed was their only refuge.

Ms Duncan tweeted the NSW Royal Fire Service and the couple were rescued. 

John Duncan, 83, standing by the charred remains of his home after a devastating bushfire

The man initially told his daughter they lost it all ‘except the shed’ but she would later learn it was also incinerated in the blaze.

‘If he and Cassie had been in the shed, we would have lost them,’ Ms Duncan told Daily Mail Australia.

The woman shared a photo of her father standing by the rubble where his home stood.

‘To say he’s okay is fair, but the shock, loss and trauma is incomprehensible and the reality is unbelievable.

‘Two of his friends were killed just outside the village when two fires joined – it’s devastating.’ 

Ms Duncan said her father is staying with friends while he looks for another home.

‘He’s grateful but it’s also stressful – he’s 83 and he has health requirements and he needs to sit and rest and not worry about all this.’   

Ms Duncan (pictured with her father) set up a fundraiser to help her elderly father rebuild

Ms Duncan (pictured with her father) set up a fundraiser to help her elderly father rebuild

His daughter Carol Tweeted the fire service to let them know her father and his wife were trapped in a shed

The woman described the impact of the blaze on social media.

‘Having worked in media for nearly 30 years, I’ve reported on numerous natural disasters – bushfires, storms and floods – and the devastation left behind. But the reality – and the trauma – of my father’s loss is simply incomprehensible.’

Ms Duncan set up a fundraising page last month to help her father rebuild.

She wrote: ‘Everything has gone. Even his walking stick.’  

‘He left Canberra after experiencing the devastating 2004 bushfires … and not wanting to go through it again.

‘My Dad is a proud man, but he’s a classic pensioner battler. My family will do all we can, but he needs a bit of a hand. I hate asking, but I’d do anything for my Dad.’

The page raised more than $9,000 in about 13 hours.

‘I have no words, I’m just so grateful,’ Ms Duncan said of the support.

‘I feel like I should be able to do this for my dad myself, but I simply cannot. I do not have the resources myself.’   

Rappville in northern NSW is one of the towns being ravaged by bushfires

Rappville in northern NSW is one of the towns being ravaged by bushfires 

A burnt car among the remains of a destroyed property in Rappville

A burnt car among the remains of a destroyed property in Rappville

Ms Duncan also extended her thanks to the RFS volunteers who risk their lives to save others.

‘I’m just so grateful to the Rural Fire Service volunteers,’ she said.

‘They put their own lives at risks… leave their families to save ours.’

Ms Duncan said the next step is to help the little village of about 140 people find their feet again.

She said it was also an important reminder to act on climate change.

‘It is Australia, climate change tells us we will get more major disasters… We will get them more often, they will be more severe.’

Fifteen houses were lost in Rappville.

Fires continue to burn in the surrounding areas but many are are under control. 

Thirty people have been injured and more than 150 homes have been destroyed in the bushfires in northern NSW.

Grandmother Vivian Chaplain, 69, died in hospital after she suffered burns to 40 to 50 per cent of her body after fire swept through her home in Johns River on Friday.

Burnt vehicles among rubble in the NSW town of Rappville

Burnt vehicles among rubble in the NSW town of Rappville

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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