Close call for Morwell residents

PHOTO GALLERY: Hernes Oak and Driffield fires

Maryvale Crescent resident Lida Tusa said she could see smoke and flames approaching when police evacuated her and neighbouring residents from the fire which threatened Morwell yesterday.

Shaken, but in good spirits at the Traralgon emergency relief centre, Ms Tusa and fellow Maryvale Crescent occupant John Laird recounted their abrupt departures from home.

“I saw flames… it was a little bit scary,” Ms Tusa said.

“We didn’t want to go, but so many police came around and said you have to go, you have to go.”

Mr Laird said he received two emergency text messages from the CFA, but as they related to Hazelwood, Yinnar and Driffield he originally discounted them.

However, Mr Laird said he began to notice increased smoke pluming from two nearby landmarks; the old Commercial Road Caravan Park and German Club Astoria on Hazelwood Road.

“We could see the smoke and they said it was going to get worse, so get out,” he said.

“It was closer than the one we had a couple of years ago, near the coal cut.

“I didn’t want to go, but I had to.”

Ms Tusa and Mr Laird were among a large crowd that packed into the Performing Arts Centre in Traralgon seeking refuge yesterday afternoon.