ONE YEAR ON: Sharon Baker’s Stanthorpe home was lost to the devastating bushfires that tore through the region one year ago. (AAP/Image Sarah Marshall)
ONE YEAR ON: Sharon Baker’s Stanthorpe home was lost to the devastating bushfires that tore through the region one year ago. (AAP/Image Sarah Marshall)

ONE YEAR ON: Bushfire victim’s devastating memories

WHEN Sharon Baker’s home was destroyed in last year’s bushfires, she was unsure if her family would be able to return to the region.

The Nelson Crescent home was wiped out when a fast-moving blaze tore through properties west of Stanthorpe’s business district.

One year on, Ms Baker said the “ominous” weather on the day is one she’ll never forget.

“It was just a really strange day, it had a really bad vibe,” Ms Baker said.

“I was down in Brisbane with my father and I’ll never forget the feeling that day. Even in Brisbane the weather had a really ominous feel.

“The air was really hot, the wind was really hot, and that was before we knew anything about the fire.”

Fire tore through Sharon Baker's Nelson Crescent home last September, when bushfires ravaged the region.
Fire tore through Sharon Baker's Nelson Crescent home last September, when bushfires ravaged the region.

The Stanthorpe home was one of three lost in the fires, believed to have been accidentally started by a group of backpackers emptying ash from their fireplace.

The decision not to charge anyone has frustrated Ms Baker.

“I’ve always been a bit disappointed that nothing happened about the person who started the fire, I do accept it was an accident,” she said.

“The effect afterwards is really out of scale for what you might call an unfortunate incident.”

The home, which had only been lived in for two years, has had very little done since the damage last September.

“We had to move to Brisbane; we haven’t been able to start rebuilding there. We don’t know what to do next,” she said.

“We’ve been in limbo in some ways, just waiting to see what to do next and what the next step will be on that block of land; we’re kind of not sure what to do.

“We feel a bit hesitant about what could happen again.”

A $2500 donation from Apex and Lifeline has helped family’s recovery process, according to Ms Baker.

“We used the donation to clear away the debris,” she said.

“It was good to get the burnt down stuff removed and asbestos treatment just to clear up the burnt house.”

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