Deadly Bushfire Ravages Adventist Campground in Australia
Two Adventist families also lose their homes in a nearby town.
A Seventh-day Adventist Church campground was devastated by a deadly bushfire that broke out south of Perth, Australia, killing two people.
Camp Logue Brook, owned by the Western Australian Conference, lost all but one cabin and two other buildings when the fire tore through the campground last Thursday night. The camp is also losing water after a pipe melted in the blaze.
Conference secretary Sid Griffith flew an aircraft over the campsite on Friday afternoon and confirmed the severity of the damage.
“A sad day for sure, but they are buildings,” Western Australian Conference president Terry Johnson said on Facebook. But “all the memories remain. The buildings can be rebuilt.”
Cabin No. 7 survived the blaze. Remarkably, the home of the camp managers, Ken and Lesley Topperwien, and a maintenance shed also emerged unscathed.
An aerial view of Camp Logue Brook with smoke still thick in the air. (Mark Pizey / Adventist Record)
The camp's tennis court is visible in this photo. (Mark Pizey / Adventist Record)
Cabin No. 7 is the only cabin that survived the fire. (Steve Crawford / Adventist Record)
One of the camp buildings lost in the fire. (Steve Crawford / Adventist Record)
More destroyed buildings. (Steve Crawford / Adventist Record)
“A sad day for sure, but they are buildings," says church leader Terry Johnson. (Steve Crawford / Adventist Record)
Johnson expressed his condolences to the families of two men, aged 77 and 73, who died when the fire tore through the nearby town of Yarloop, located a two-hour drive south of Perth.
The historic town, with a population of 600, has been described as a war zone, with 128 homes destroyed in the fire. Two Adventist families, David and Teresa Regent and Bernie and Maureen Riegert, were among those who lost their homes.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency has set up an emergency response team in the town of Australind and is working with other relief organizations to find accommodation for those who have been left homeless.
The Waroona bushfire, sparked by lightning on Wednesday morning, has burned more than 73,500 hectares (181,600 acres) of land, ruining infrastructure as well as buildings.
Thousands of people in the South Perth region remain without power, while several major roads remain closed.