Bobin School students saved by a gut feeling | photos

Although Bobin lost its school in the Rumba Dump bushfire on Friday, November 8, things could have been a whole lot worse.

On Thursday night, Bobin School principal Diane Myer rang teacher Sarah Parker and told her she was declaring the school non-operational on Friday.

There appeared, at the time, no reason to close the school on Friday. The fire had been burning in Tapin Tops National Park for weeks and nothing had changed enough for anyone to think that Bobin would be in trouble.

If Diane hadn't acted on her gut decision, the school's 17 students would have been at the school at the time the fire roared through it.

"I don't know what would have happened actually if the school had been open," Sarah said.

Swans Road

Swans Road

Sarah, who lives in Bobin on Swans Road with her husband Brendan, went to have a look at the school on Wednesday.

"It's devastating," she said.

School staff have been told that demountables have been ordered and the Department of Education hopes to have them back up and running in term one of 2020.

"We don't know what we're doing in the meantime. At the moment we're going to find out in the next couple of days whether we'll teach out of a Wingham school or what. We're not sure," Sarah said.

Our house was saved purely through the grace of the Bulga and Bobin fire brigades.

Sarah Parker

Bobin has reportedly lost around 14 houses, but the exact amount cannot be known until after the RFS has done an assessment.

There are only two houses left in the village, however the Parkers' house still on Swans Road stands.

"Our house was saved purely through the grace of the Bulga and Bobin fire brigades," Sarah said.

Containment line on Swans Road.

Containment line on Swans Road.

"We also had a brigade come up from Saltash in the Hunter area who saw we had some flare ups going on and they did some containment burning around the house and saved it," Sarah said.

"Our neighbour Tom Yarnold and the local crews just worked so hard saving our house and everyone's houses. Unbelieavable."

Like everyone there, Sarah is feeling a mix of emotions of grief and gratitude.

"I think we're just in shock. It's horrible to see all the people who've lost everything. They've got just the shirt on their back, literally. But we're just so grateful. People have worked hard to keep us safe and protect our homes - it's amazing.

"I'm incredibly grateful. It's so humbling to have people come and save your home and work so hard. I've never experienced anything like it," Sarah said.

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