WHEN an out-of-control bushfire ripped through Ethan Werssflog’s grandparents’ home in Winmalee it was his mates at Canobolas Rural Technology High School who comforted him.
Thursday of last week will be remembered by many as the day bushfires tore across the state, but for Ethan it was the day his grandparents lost everything.
Ethan said his grandparents Sue and Phil Dunlop knew there were fires around and were prepared, but it was a small spot fire that wiped out their home.
“He [Phil Dunlop] looked out the kitchen window and saw the plastic around the windows had melted and then the shed caught fire,” he said.
“They just got out and got the two cats and the bird.”
Ethan said his grandparents built their own home 41 years ago and they have now lost everything except for their beloved pets and each other.
“I’m just lost for words,” Ethan said.
“They were there for hours putting out the spot fires.
“I saw the house on Friday [last week] and it’s just scary to see it burnt down.”
Yesterday Ethan’s classmates got together to organise a fundraiser for St Vincent de Paul Society to help bushfire victims .
“It’s easy for schools and for everyone to get involved,” his classmate Rebecca Steedman said of their dress up theme.
Students were asked to wear red, orange or yellow clothes for a gold coin donation to support the cause.
Ethan said not only has the bushfire wiped out his grandparents’ home, memories and treasures, but also their their dream of travelling around Australia.
“They only had house insurance, but their campervan was burnt and they didn’t have insurance on that,” he said.
Students raise $772 on the day which will go with $400 they raised through their coffee cart at the Orange East Village Markets last weekend.