Firefighter's nightmare: 'That's my home'

David Brown inspects the damage.
David Brown inspects the damage.

DAVID Brown received a page no firefighter wants — he was told on Tuesday night his own house was on fire.

Mr Brown, a firefighter for 17 years, was at a friend’s house near his West Wodonga home, on the Victorian-NSW border, when he heard the sirens about 7.30pm.

When he checked his pager, his heart sank.

“I know that address — that’s my home,” Mr Brown said at the time.

“It was very uncomfortable — I knew my family were home,”  he told The Border Mail yesterday.

By the time Mr Brown got to his Felltimber Creek Road home, there were five fire trucks in his drive-way.

His wife and four children aged five to 20 were inside.

“I could see a column of smoke,” he said. “The caravan in a back shed was on fire.”

Mr Brown bought the caravan only four months ago and was preparing it for a holiday camping trip in nine days. 

“The caravan was going to be one of the key features of the trip,” he said.

Mr Brown doesn’t know how the fire started.

And while the blaze ruined his caravan and holiday plans, he was relieved no one was hurt.

“My priority is my family. The caravan’s a material thing to be replaced,” he said.

“Good insurance is invaluable.”

Mr Brown said his backyard blaze showed fire did not discriminate.

“No one is immune — everyone has to be prepared,” he said.

“It happens to everybody.”

The roof of the shed was also damaged.