... but so far. Families stuck behind cordons
Miranda Newbury is worried her family home may be gone – swallowed by the flames of the Port Hills fire.
But it’s the family’s dearly loved cats Stevie and Daisy that she and husband Craig are most concerned about.
They had only minutes to evacuate their house at the top of Worsley Rd where they have lived for three years.
‘‘We packed some things about 8am [on Wednesday] but things seemed fine,’’ Miranda said.
The couple could hear the fire from their home by about 1pm on Wednesday. At 2.15pm the police arrived to say they had to leave immediately. ‘‘I went outside and thought, ‘‘Oh my God,’’ we’ve got to go,’’ Miranda said.
They packed some photographs and school uniforms but couldn’t find Stevie and Daisy. Miranda left out enough food for a week.
‘‘We want to get the cats. Really that’s all,’’ she said.
They would also like to know the condition of their house. They have been told it will be about two days before they can check their property.
‘‘The police and the Fire Service don’t seem to be communicating too well,’’ Craig said as he and Miranda tried to get answers at a police cordon at the bottom of Worsley Rd.
‘‘We don’t want to hang around. We want to know if it’s liveable. If not, we want to get permanent accommodation so we are not bothering people by staying with them for a few nights. And the cats,’’ Miranda said.
The couple have not told their daughters, Emma, 13, and Milla, 11, that the fate of their home is in the balance. They don’t want to worry them.
‘‘But we can’t do that for much longer,’’ Miranda said.
Helicopters have filled their monsoon buckets with water from their swimming pool and the Newburys are glad to help.
But now they need to get back to their house, they say.
Wednesday night was ‘‘quite terrifying’’ for Jono Blyth, who lives with his wife Sarah Priddle on lower Worsley Rd. Priddle was out of town for work and Blyth decided to bail.
‘‘Just behind the trees it was all up in flames and a friend and I started dragging things from the house and putting them the car. Clothes, photographs,’’ Blyth said.
‘‘We were never told we had to go but we have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, so we spent the night at my mother’s house.’’
The children, Scarlett, 2, and Henry, 4, had found the evacuation exciting. They’ve been talking about it at pre-school, Priddle said.
Destroyed Worsleys Rd properties in Christchurch south. The intact one belongs to Craig and Miranda Newbury.
The last photo Miranda Newbury took of their home before being evacuated.
Miranda Newbury desperately tries to find out if her Worsley Rd home had survived.