Bushfire survivor Pam Murphy knows what it’s like to lose everything. On the night of September 9, 2019 in the picturesque seaside hamlet of Peregian Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Pam, along with hundreds of other local residents, fled for their lives, escaping a ferocious 70-metre firewall.
As dozens of firefighters bravely fought to save as many houses as they could, no one, least of all Pam, could believe every home was spared – except hers. “I was at the evacuation centre watching the news and saw my house completely engulfed in flames. I thought, well there’s nothing I can do about what’s done, so I’ll just rebuild – and 16 months later, here I am!” Pam, now 91, tells Woman’s Day from the balcony of her brand spanking new dream home she moved back into just weeks ago.
“I just happened to be the unlucky one that night to get hit by a freak fireball. I’ve lived through the Depression and World War II, so this was a walk in the park,” she says with a warm smile.
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