Home' The Bunyip : January 14th 2015 Contents Page 10 "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, January 14, 2015
PHOTOGRAPHS and a small
bundle of clothing are among
the few possessions Marilyn
Sherry and her family have left
from their Kersbrook home.
"I lost my engagement ring,
we lost everything basically," Ms
"I'm a nurse, I actually won a
couple of nursing awards...all of
that, those memories have gone."
Ms Sherry and her husband
Brad Pool learned they lost their
home of 19 years, the evening af-
ter the fire started, from a neigh-
bour, who was listening to the po-
But Ms Sherry said they are yet
to see the damage for themselves.
"Can you imagine what that
would be like, going up there to
see the devastation of everything?"
Their home was one of 27 re-
ported to have been lost in the
Adelaide Hills bushfire.
Ms Sherry said they evacuated
their home early Friday afternoon,
hours before the situation was de-
clared an emergency, because the
family was already facing a night-
After being diagnosed with a
number of medical conditions, as
well as enduring surgeries from a
young age, Mr Pool was recently
diagnosed with stomach cancer.
"Our plan was to not stay be-
cause Brad's just not in any fit
medical condition to be able to
cope with anything like that," she
"We didn't know how much
time we had because I couldn't get
any communication with the CFS
website, there was nothing posted
at that stage so I had no idea what
was going on.
"Brad's really unsteady on his
feet because he has a neurological
disease so it was really just me be-
ing able to get things in and out
of the car."
Their children, Brodie and
Maddison, were out at the time.
Ms Sherry said they have since
been staying with family in Reid,
The family set up a Facebook
page last year to fundraise for Mr
Pool's chemotherapy treatment,
but Ms Sherry said since learning
of their loss, friends, family and
anonymous donors have used the
social media site to offer financial
assistance and support to help
"The whole of Australia, it
seems, is just asking what they
can do, helping, from rebuild the
house to redoing the fencing, do-
nating furniture and everything
we need," she said.
Ms Sherry said the family was
currently focusing on Mr Pool's
treatment, but were looking
to move into a rental property
"It's starting all over again," she
Despite facing more challenges
than most could imagine, Ms
Sherry said "we'll be fine".
LEWISTON'S Chelsea Tomase-
vic is just one of the many locals
in the community who has given
her time to help others through-
out the devastating Sampson Flat
For one week, the 20-year-old
worked tirelessly in her quest to save
as many horses as possible and was
successful in transporting more than
60 out of the hazardous fire zone.
Chelsea began volunteering on the
day the fire broke out after a friend
living in One Tree Hill contacted her
to assist in relocating their horses.
She took her friend's horses back to
her property in Lewiston and, from
there, she continued moving horses
from affected properties to several safe
Already an owner of four horses,
she didn't have the capacity to hold
more than two extras in her paddock,
so her determination took her as far as
"I put $480 of fuel in my car and
I've done just under 3000 clicks on it,
which was quite surprising," Chelsea
"I ended up going to Tailem Bend
on the Monday and it was probably
the most far I went.
"We were actually able to get a
CFS escort into Kersbrook that day,
because it was still pretty bad, and
these poor people had already lost one
horse, so we were able to get in and
get their other six out."
Once the fire was contained,
Chelsea continued to search for in-
jured horses with a friend and spent
the last weekend returning horses to
She said it was the least she could
do after experiencing a fire scare at her
property last year.
"A few roads away, there was a fire
and we actually got an evacuation
warning," she said.
"We were all ready to go, but they
ended up getting it under control, so
I knew how scary it was.
"I know that if I was in that situa-
tion, I would really hope people would
help me out, because my horses are
my most valuable possessions."
Though Chelsea saw some heart-
breaking scenes in the aftermath of
the blaze, it is an experience that will
remain with her for life.
"I think I can sleep better knowing
that I've done my part," she said.
THE response to the Sampson Flat
bushfire was not just of local origins
with, CFS volunteers coming from
all over the state and interstate to
help extinguish the blaze.
Following the outbreak of the
fire last Friday, Ben Franklin of
Cockaleechie on the state's Eyre Pen-
insula, flew into Adelaide on Saturday
afternoon to assist the firefight.
"We just got a message saying they
were looking for teams, so I drove to
Port Lincoln, flew straight over and
we were straight into it," he said.
"We got our briefing from the One
Tree Hill CFS upon arrival and we
were into it straight away on Saturday
Initially, according to the region six
CFS volunteer, the role of his group
was to doorknock and assess houses in
affected areas and check on residents
who had returned to their properties.
"On Saturday night, we spent a
majority of our time going through
burnt ground...and making sure
there were no more tree stumps
alight," he said.
"We were trying to make those
people feel at ease in their homes.
"Saturday night was pretty straight-
forward until 3am, then we were
in the main fire area backburning
through the scrub so that it couldn't
jump the road as it burned up the
Despite the intense pressure, Mr
Franklin, of the Cockaleechie CFS
in the Tumby Bay group, said help-
ing out last week was "repaying the
favour" for all the help his region re-
ceived 10 years ago during the natural
disaster of Black Tuesday.
"When you're from a country com-
munity that's what you do -- you help
each other out in a time of need," he
Mr Franklin and 28 others were
based at Tanunda during the fire-
fight and were very appreciative of
the community support they got for
coming over and helping out.
Outside help needed
BUSHFIRE CRISIS AFTERMATH
"We lost everything"
Racking up the kilometres
Lewiston's Chelsea Tomasevic
transported more than 60 horses to
safety throughout the Sampson Flat
Gawler - too lovely to litter
Kersbrook resident Brad Pool
(right) shares a hug with his
daughter Maddison, last year.
What is your favourite
Movie? La Belle a La Bette
-- Beauty and the Beast.
If you could travel
anywhere in the world,
where would you go? Paris,
If you could elect anyone
as our Prime Minister,
who would you choose?
What is your dream job?
Curator at the Tate Museum
of Modern Art.
What do you like about
Gawler? The library.
What are your tips for
dealing with the heat?
Go to the beach.
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