Man uses kettle to save home from fire
Armed only with a kettle and a rum bottle filled with water, a father and son have miraculously saved their Perth Hills home from a terrifying bushfire, but still lost some sentimental items in the blaze.
Steve Curtis, 56, has lived at his Gidgegannup property for more than 20 years but has always been resistant to technology, leaving him with no television or internet.
It was not until the power went out on Monday he realised his property could be in danger from a bushfire that would eventually destroy 81 homes.
His son Danny, 25, was already concerned and made his way to his father's home.
They made a pact that they would flee when the flames got too high, but Mr Curtis never really had any intention of leaving.
When the younger Mr Curtis realised his father had not left, he turned back around but the roads were closed so he had to find his way through a dirt track.
"I wasn't really thinking. I was just reacting and I was running on adrenaline," he told NCA NewsWire on Thursday.
"(Dad) was just running around like a madman."
Mr Curtis said they began putting out spot fires with a kettle and a rum bottle filled with water, rather than using a larger bucket so they would not waste too much water.
For the next 28 hours, the pair worked hard to control the flames, only getting a couple of hours of sleep.
"We had to watch out for burning embers, so we were keeping a watchful eye," Mr Curtis said.
"The only thing we saved was the house.
"Everything he needs to make a living was lost, including his tool shed.
"A lot of sentimental stuff is gone too.
"But we got off lucky compared to other neighbours."
The older Mr Curtis, who does not have insurance and has not yet healed from a broken foot last year, suffered some minor smoke inhalation but appears to have recovered.
"I don't think Steve could have kept going with the spot fires if Danny had not returned," his sister Lynda Curtis said.
Ms Curtis has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her "true blue Aussie" brother so he can purchase tools for work. More than $5000 has been raised so far.
"Steve's a guy who has worked hard his whole life, always willing to help anyone out who needs mechanical advice or aid," she wrote on the page.
"A guy who loves the bush and a simple life ... he stayed to fight but sadly lost all his trade tools, his sheds, his vehicles (and) his clothes."
Ms Curtis told NCA NewsWire that her brother was very blessed.
"He feels so guilty because he watched his neighbour's house burn," she said.
"He said 'anything I get I'm sharing with my neighbours'. He's a straight shooter."
Originally published as Man uses kettle to save home from fire