Young RFS member talks about fighting his first fire
WHEN Jayden Davis arrived at Ray Smith's Myrtle Creek house, the roof was on fire.
Jayden is 17 years old and is a Kyogle RFS volunteer. This was his first fire.
"We sent all three trucks from Kyogle Headquarters and I was in HQ7 with my captain Vic and we were sent to Elliot's Road area," Jayden said.
"We had to drive through fire on the Summerland Way to get there, then we were asked to go around to Main Camp Road but couldn't get there as there were a lot of big trees down and power lines across the road with the trees on side of road still burning.
"So we had to turn around and we went back along Avenue Road to check out the houses."
That's when they saw Mr Smith's house.
"I got out, unrolled the hose and started the pump while the fire captain checked around the house," Jayden said.
"We saved the house with only the ceiling and roof of veranda burnt, with one room badly damaged."
Karen Smith whose father-in-law Ray lives at the Elliot Rd house met Jayden and some of the RFS crew on Saturday when they returned to the property.
"He's such an unassuming, quiet young person," Ms Smith said from Brisbane where she lives.
"He didn't just save a building, it was somebody's home."
Her father-in-law is 83 years old and his house is full of dog trial ribbons and memories of his late wife.
"What Jayden has done is a wonderful thing," she said.
Neighbours either side of Mr Smith's house lost everything.
Jayden stayed at the property to make sure everything was blacked out and wouldn't reignite again, he said.
"This was my first real big fire I've attended so I have enjoyed learning and being part of it," Jayden said.
"My mum is very proud of my achievements and supports me in any way she can."
Ms Smith said the fire came so fast but Mr Smith was evacuated, with his dog to Ellangowan.
Being young, Jayden may not realise the enormity of what he has done, she said.
"We're all thinking of what we lost," Ms Smith said.
"We should also think of what we have.
"The men and women who give up their time and put themselves in danger for people they don't know."