What do you buy when you have nothing left?
"THE fire was on all four sides of us," was how 18 year old Thomas Rose described their Myrtle Creek home as flames from the Busbys Flat fire ripped through their 44 acre property.
"We saw smoke rising," Thomas said.
Then a "tornado of fire came across the paddock, flames spinning in a spiral," Thomas said, in disbelief of what he had witnessed.
It was an ember they believed started the fire on their property.
Fred Rose, retired from 30 years in the RFS, knew his family had to get out.
A gap came in the wall of fire and smoke and they sped away in an old Falcon.
They fled their home with phones, some blankets, wallets, cigarettes and the clothes they were wearing.
They squeezed three dogs in the car, and let the others run loose to give them the best chance to escape the fire.
The Rose family lost everything.
They spent Tuesday night in Casino at their eldest son's place.
On Wednesday, they planned to head back to see how the goats, pigs and dogs had fared.
Going back home, when there's nothing left to go back to, was something step mum Karen Devine dreaded.
"When we go back, it will hit us,"Karen said
Before they left Casino the Express Examiner helped them buy supplies and when Coles store manager Andy Thompson was asked to match the paper's donation, he was keen to help. Coles donated $150 in supermarket goods.
Karen and her sons, Thomas, Timothy and Robert had to makes decisions what to buy to keep them going. With no fridge they bought an esky and Andy filled it with ice for them. They had a small camp stove they said and bought a pot and fry-pan
The most essential item needed was water.
Still in shock from escaping the fire and losing everything they own, the simplest decisions became difficult.
Their water tank, generator, solar system on their house - all of it has burned into a pile of what once was home.
As the family left Coles, a man passing by asked what we were doing. When he heard the family's story, he pulled $50 from his wallet. Karen said thanks and wiped her eyes.