GALLERY: Western Sydney bushfires

Residents are telling of their terror as fire ripped through Sydney’s north west on Tuesday afternoon.

A home in Marsden Park in Blacktown was destroyed while another one at Winmalee in the Blue Mountains which was thought lost may only have sustained damage.

Marsden Park resident Dave Morris said his house had been badly damaged by the fire, while his neighbour’s property had burnt down.

Mr Morris, who had rented the house for seven years, said he had been working when he heard news of the fire and wasn’t able to reach his his home due to closures on Richmond Road.

When he finally pulled into his driveway at 9.30pm, he was devastated to find the place severely damaged by fire and water.

"We’ve lost all our photos and my place is gone but at least things can always replaced, whereas lives can’t," Mr Morris said.

"The poor bloke next door has got absolutely nothing, it’s just gone. He didn’t have much, but what he had is gone. He’s devastated."

The owner of Church Cafe at Richmond Road, Rochelle, said worried customers left halfway through their lunches when they started to smell the smoke on Thursday afternoon.

She said she was evacuated from the cafe about 2.30pm but wasn't able to access her home on Grange Avenue.

"It was incredible. The most scary part of the fire was the winds, it was just out of control," Rochelle, who asked for her last name not be published, said.

"The customers didn't need to be told they just left. I packed up what needed to be packed up and hosed down the building and then I couldn't get home because Grange Avenue was in lock down."

"I went to my chef's house two doors down the road and I was able to stay there with him until the road re-opened. The wind was just so ferocious."

A couple, who asked not to be named, were evacuated from their Garfield Road house as spot fires on vacant land beside and behind their house took hold.

''We started seeing smoke around the back,'' the husband said.

''Then we started seeing spot fires.

''They [police] wanted us to evacuate because they reckoned the big one was coming.''

The couple returned to their house that night to find their fence was burnt but the rest of their property was undamaged.''

Other residents told how their neighbours had rallied to save their property from a fire in adjoining bush, using hoses and buckets to douse the flames.

''Everybody got together with hoses and buckets and threw water over the fence,'' one woman [who declined to be named] said.


Bligh Park: This morning children were returning to Bligh Park Public School as crews continued to mop up and clean up the area from Tuesday's intense fires. A number of emergency service vehicles are patrolling the area to keep an eye on hot spots to ensure it doesn't flare up again. 

Devlin Road, Castlereagh: Scorched bushland and charred trees as far as the eye can see shows just how close the fire came to destroying homes and properties in the area. One home in particular has been severely damaged after fire unleashed yesterday morning. 

Windsor Downs: RFS crews visited the area to assess the streets that back onto Windsor Downs nature reserve. Trees stood blackened and burnt in the front yards of some homes, proving how dangerously close the blaze came to homes in the estate. Residents were seen returning home with pets and mopping up the mess left behind from the fires. 

According to the NSW Rural Fire Service website at 9.54am, firefighters are still working to contain fires around the Winmalee and Hawkesbury Heights areas in the Blue Mountains as well as Castlereagh and Londonderry.

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The story GALLERY: Western Sydney bushfires first appeared on Parramatta Sun.

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