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Bob & Fiona Ethell

Bob & Fiona Ethell
Interviewed on:
27 June 2023
Interviewed by:
Alex Watkins

Listen to Bob & Fiona Ethell

  • It was one hell of a day - Bob & Fiona Ethell
  • I told you to get to that *effing hall - Bob & Fiona Ethell
  • The hall had started to catch - Bob & Fiona Ethell
  • You think survival - Bob & Fiona Ethell
  • There was a roar - Bob & Fiona Ethell
  • Not only did Dad lose the house, he basically lost his job - Bob & Fiona Ethell
  • I do not think I can stay here anymore - Bob & Fiona Ethell
  • FULL STORY - Bob & Fiona Ethell
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The Ethell family saved the hall, and the hall saved them. Bill and Fiona and their two children Bob and Jenny had to dodge flames and falling power poles to get to the Aireys Inlet Hall, where they managed to douse sections of the building that caught fire as the front came through. They stayed in Aireys Inlet throughout the ordeal and have an astonishing first-hand account of the town burning, and the return of emergency services and residents in the days following the disaster.

For Bob and Fiona, Ash Wednesday was the death knell for the sleepy little village they had known. They lost their house, and rebuilt, but the events of 1983 eventually convinced them to move inland to live amidst grassland where they could protect themselves with Bob’s extensive career experience of fighting fires.

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