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‘My son just had socks on’: Family forced to flee on foot after blaze threatens holiday home

3AW Afternoons

Image: Tracey Corbin-Matchett

A Sydney mother has described her terror as she and family were forced to flee on foot after a bushfire trapped them inside a holiday home they had rented in Tarbuck Bay, NSW.

Tracey Corbin-Matchett, her husband Greg and their three children, Sage, Aurora and Zahn, were eating dinner when they realised something was wrong.

“Hubby hadn’t even got a mouthful in and he went to get a glass of water,” Ms Corbin-Matchett told 3AW’s Darren James.

“He went to check the fuse box and got out on the deck and said ‘there’s actually a fire down at the road, we better get out of here!’

A tree had fallen on a power line, sparking the blaze.

No evacuation order had been issued by fire authorities.

The family got in a car to leave the property, but when they reached the entrance they realised they were trapped.

“There was just flames everywhere, trees across the exit, power lines down,” Ms Corbin-Matchett said.

“It was a dirt road, reversing back up the flames were chasing us at the side of the car. By the time we got back up to the house the fire had already reached the house.

Ms Corbin-Matchett’s husband, Greg, told her to take the kids and run.

“We ran through the bush, the kids and I. Zahn, my son, just had socks on. We weren’t prepared for that, we didn’t know where we were going!”

The family sought shelter with a couple who ran a wildlife rescue nearby.

The holiday home they were staying in was significantly damaged by the blaze, but luckily no one was hurt.

Ms Corbin-Matchett thanked the NSW Rural Fire Service for their help.

“God bless those RFS guys, they’re amazing,” she said.

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