Contributed by Tony Warner

I lived in Bilpin (yes, where the apples come from) with my wife Jessica and our young daughter, Efa for 3 years when we decided we needed to move closer to work and family. We made the decision to sell our home in Bilpin and come down ‘off the mountain’. Our house went to auction and sold on Saturday 14th December 2019. We were relieved because a bushfire had started burning a few weeks earlier. On the day of the auction the bushfire was burning 20 kilometres from the house but with the wind blowing in the right direction it was hard to tell. The house sold at auction but in the days that followed, the bushfire got within 15, 10 and then 5 kilometres from the house.

We raked and mulched every dry leaf on the property and made a pile in the back paddock, but the fire jumped the road and came from the back of the property. The whole week was surreal, from the elation of selling on the Saturday to evacuating on the Wednesday and being allowed to return on the Thursday but not knowing what to expect.

We were lucky, the fire missed the house but did some damage to water tanks, fencing and netting. I have no doubt it would have been much worse but for the incredible RFS crew from East Kurrajong. I can still remember seeing that fire truck through the smoke and thanking God. We were looking to buy in Arcadia, Galston or Glenorie because we knew the area, then we saw the beautiful property on Miller Rd. We loved it! It ticked all of the boxes and it turned out we knew some of the neighbours through a mutual friend.

We love the warmth and friendliness of the Glenorie community, the local shops and play areas. The pitfalls of a robust internet connection feel just like Bilpin but the local tech enthusiasts have been generous with their time and knowledge.

Our move was completed when we collected the 2 remaining members of the family that had been moved out of harms’ way before the fire.

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