'Looked like Armageddon': Man's CCTV captures harrowing moment

Yahoo News Staff
·3-min read

A West Australian man has watched his house burn down in bushfires on CCTV.

Craig Longbottom, from Gidgegannup, northeast of Perth, is one of many people affected by the Perth Hills fires which have so far destroyed 86 homes.

The fire has burned almost 11,000 hectares in total.

Mr Longbottom, who lives between his home in Gidgegannup and Perth, installed a surveillance system to catch robbers but told the ABC he recently watched as his home was engulfed by flames.

"To me, it looked like Armageddon," he told the ABC.

A bushfire destroys a home in Gidgegannup, WA.
Craig Longbottom had to watch his home in Gidgegannup burn down on livestream. Source: ABC

Mr Longbottom added the reason he shared the footage was to warn people about how serious the situation is. He even recently considered going back to the house to try and protect it.

"We just thought we could go back, I'd grab stuff the next day … we didn't think it would all be vaporised,” he told the ABC.

"What the hell could you do in that situation?”

Firefighters pray for rainfall

The devastating bushfire in the Perth Hills has been downgraded from an emergency warning to "watch and act", and rain relief is imminent.

Hopes are high that forecast weekend rain will help firefighters get on top of the week-long blaze as a tropical low tracks towards the southwest.

"This is a great outcome and it gives those residents of those terribly affected areas, particularly around Tilden Park, access back into those areas from 4pm this afternoon," DFES Commissioner Darren Klemm said on Saturday.

The region is still on high alert with strong wind gusts of up to 90 km/h expected on Saturday afternoon.

"People who go into the fire-affected area with a permit really need to be mindful of the affect of that wind on trees and branches and the like, that may have been weakened by the fire," Commissioner Klemm said.

A burned fire ground is shown near Wooroloo, northeast of Perth.
Woorooloo, northeast of Perth, after fire ripped through. Source: AAP

The downgrading from an emergency warning to a watch and act alert occurred on Saturday just after 10am AWST. It applies to Avon Valley National Park, Brigadoon, Bullsbrook, Gidgegannup, Upper Swan and Walyunga National Park.

"We're expecting light rain to commence early this afternoon but the heavier rain that will really help us with the fire is not going to occur until later on this evening and into tomorrow," Commissioner Klemm said.

He assured those who have lost their homes that DFES would continue to support them in recovery.

"I really want to stress that those homeowners that have lost their homes – we're here for the long haul," he said.

Pamela Wheeler-Hart reacts whilst telling the media after a community meeting that her house has been destroyed in Gidgegannup, Perth.
Pamela Wheeler-Hart had her house destroyed in Gidgegannup, Perth. Source: AAP

Some roads have reopened while Toodyay Road will remain closed for some time.

Firefighters have worked overtime to clear damage from seriously affected areas, including fallen powerlines, while also dealing with flare-ups on the northern flank of the bushfire and re-establishing containment lines.

Western Power says some 465 homes remain without power, with repairs to damaged electricity networks potentially continuing for weeks.

with AAP

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