Samantha Kneeshaw received an alarm call at 10.30 PM new years eve from a neighbour. A bushfire is raging towards her home in Conjola Australia. Samantha shoots into gear putting her fire plan into action. Watering down the entire property while a 30 meter tall eucalyptus is bursting into flames across the streets. Luckily all the other family members left the house earlier that day before the fire warning.
When there was nothing left to do to save the property the mother of two grabbed her scuba gear and headed for the pool. Without a mask or any googles she spent the next 10 minutes submerged in her pool as the inferno raged above her. ‘I could actually see the ash debris and flames as I was in the pool’. ‘The house was completely covered in black smoke and I was sure the house was gone’ Kneeshaw told. ‘I even heard two explosions which were trucks on my neighbours property’.
After 10 minutes the 45-year old deemed it safe to surface and found to her surprise only little damage to her families home. ‘Two cracked windows and a molten air duct was all’. Miraculously, the firefighting pump and sprinkler on the roof had saved the house. The surrounding wildlands weren’t as lucky and are destroyed by the fire, killing most of the wildlife in the proces.
Jumping in the pool was part of a well prepared fire-plan although Kneeshaw said she wouldn’t encourage others to do the same. ‘I believe the people who choose to leave are the bravest of all’. ‘They choose to leave their house behind, a decision I couldn’t make’. In total three people died in the New Years Eve bush fire and almost 100 houses near Conjola Burnt.