The devastating bushfires in Esperance in November 2015 resulted in the loss four lives and thousands of livestock. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes in affected areas, and more than 500 residents lost essential utilities including water and power.
Rob Frahm, his wife Pixie, and their boys, Ben and Declan were unable to return to their home for two weeks following evacuation as fires took hold, fuelled by wind gusts reaching 100km/h in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees.
“Our house was saved by a fluke,” said Rob.
“The fires engulfed two large trees surrounding our property and melted the water pipes and adjacent water tanks, which then burst and put the fire out. We were really lucky, as we think this is the only reason our home survived.
“We couldn’t go back to the property though until we had power and water restored, so friends kindly put up our whole family in the meantime,” added Rob.
Rob works for Norton Gold Fields, who are a participating employer with Miners’ Promise. Norton first called Rob to ask if it was ok for a family support advisor from Miners’ Promise to contact him to see if they needed any help.
“I knew I was a member, but I didn’t realise they could help with this sort of thing – I thought it was just if something happened to me, that is, if I was killed or injured at work.
“The family support advisor then called me and we had a good talk about what had happened and what we felt would be most helpful at that time to get us through. One of the first things they were able to help us with was a Woolworths voucher. We were able to give this to the family who had taken us in and fed us whilst were displaced, which made us feel we were able to say thank you for their kindness and support in some way.
“They also organised tree loppers to come and remove the two large dead trees from our property before they could fall on the house and cause any damage.
“We are very happy that Norton Gold Fields is a member of Miners’ Promise. More employers should definitely get on board. Thank you to Norton and to Miners’ Promise for your support at what was a very difficult and stressful time for ours and so many other families,” said Rob.