If you scroll down to time 16:44 you will see why.
At about 4.30 I heard a bang which I thought was a fair way away, probably a vehicle exploding (stolen) maybe on Merchants Rd two kms away downhill to the West. It was a harder bang than a whooomph. Someone blasting? But no, a towering smoke cloud; all black and grey, the colours of a vehicle fire.
I eventually found out that a plumbers truck had caught fire and spread to the surrounding bush. Just below the hairpin actually. “Activating the fire plan” as the smoke changed colour and smelt more like bush than car gradually became a “the fire is really coming here scenario” . There was little or no wind. I started all 3 fire pumps, re-fuelling 2, and ran the gravity system too, briefly. Drenched the house, noting howincredibly long it seems to take to do all these things. Set sprinklers on the roofs of various cars, too. All this time I was thinking that the orchard really was going to be at least burnt around. Many fire trucks and other vehicles, but encouragingly at the time, no planes, a sign that things were not getting too serious.
I eventually asked a passing vehicle what was going on and was told about a plumber’s vehicle fire and explosion and flaming debris flung into the bush, and where it was. The view from the hairpin revealed bits of vehicle contents, the sort of stuff on a plumber’s truck, rather melted.
What actually happened? According to Paris Huffman of Brian n Paris the neighbours:
Two young plumber guys taking a short cut home from Uraidla to Gawler !!! heard gas escaping from a cylinder, stopped, and as the driver reached to turn the acetylene tap off, the leaking gas exploded, lightly burning his arm, and blowing the other guy from the cab. They ran away. So did the truck, rolling down off the road into Brian Billing’s place and rolling over once into the trees. A number of lesser explosions followed. It is still burning as I write and so are a number of huge hollow trees. The road is “closed indefinitely” below my place. It is the 3rd vehicle fire near my house in four years. Two stolen, one misadventure, I guess.
The Peugeots survive.
Cheers, Jon Hardy
South Australian Fire Service
News & Media > Current Incidents
Date Time EWM/WAM Location Name Region Type Status Level
24/03/2010 19:21 MT BARKER 1 Rubbish Fire GOING 1
24/03/2010 19:12 FLAGSTAFF HILL MFS Grass Fire GOING 1
24/03/2010 18:29 TEA TREE GULLY 2 Vehicle Accident GOING 1
24/03/2010 18:15 OTTOWAY MFS Grass and Stubble Fire COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 18:13 TEA TREE GULLY 2 Grass and Stubble Fire GOING 1
24/03/2010 17:35 SANDILANDS 2 Grass and Stubble Fire COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 17:22 RAMCO 3 Fire Alarm COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 16:44 BASKET RANGE 1 Explosion CONTAINED 1
24/03/2010 16:13 STIRLING 1 Fuel or Oil Spill COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 15:09 CLARENDON 1 Investigate Smoke COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 15:06 MT DRUMMOND 6 Grass and Stubble Fire CONTAINED 1
24/03/2010 14:21 LEWISTON 2 Stop Call COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 14:20 MACDONALD PARK 2 Other COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 14:00 REDBANKS 2 Stop Call COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 13:49 ELIZABETH SOUTH MFS Grass and Stubble Fire COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 13:07 MELROSE 4 Grass and Stubble Fire COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 12:49 WAIKERIE 3 Tree Fire COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 08:14 WATERLOO CORNER 2 Vehicle Accident COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 07:50 GOLDEN HEIGHTS 3 Vehicle Accident COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 07:35 GOOLWA 1 Fire Alarm COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 06:51 PORT WAKEFIELD 2 Vehicle Accident COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 05:47 SALISBURY MFS Scrub and Grass Fire COMPLETE 1
24/03/2010 00:07 BLACKWOOD 1 Fire Alarm COMPLETE 1