Father and son in lawRichard Rose and Mitch Bennett we're lucky as the fire tore through Rappville.
Father and son in lawRichard Rose and Mitch Bennett we're lucky as the fire tore through Rappville. Marc Stapelberg

'We didn't have time to be frightened': The moment fire hit

Fire in Rappville: Father and son in lawRichard Rose and Mitch Bennett we're lucky as the fire tore through Rappville.
Fire in Rappville: Father and son in lawRichard Rose and Mitch Bennett we're lucky as the fire tore through Rappville.

RAPPVILLE resident of 31 years, Richard Rose, said he and his son-in-law didn't have time to be frightened as they fought hard to save their house from a fire that razed the tiny village.

Standing outside his home near the corner of Murray and Pearse Streets, Mr Rose spoke calmly about how the pair fought the fire for as long as they could.

He said the power was still on so they could use the water pump.

"Mitch and I saw flames coming towards us," he said.

"Then it jumped across the railway line and came around behind us and it went through the rest of town.

"A big wall of flames came towards us, we couldn't stand against that wall of flames, it was a bit dark, we couldn't see very well."

Mr Rose, who works on the railways, said the female family members had left for Casino.

Mitch Bennett, 29, said the experience of fighting the roaring bushfire "was intense and horrific".

"I thought I might end up on the ground to be honest," he said.

"There was smoke and fires everywhere.

"It's the first time I've fought a fire...red eyes for days."

Mr Bennett who lives in Casino and works in the earthmoving industry said visibility was so poor he became entangled in a barbed-wire fence.

He said it was a frightening time.

"All I had on was a pair of jeans and short-sleeved shirt, no mask or anything, so when fighting to save the house we got choked up with the smoke," he said.

"We spent five hours at the school that night and came back to a house still standing luckily, our neighbour put out a fire on the roof."