"Towering inferno" Top 5 Page for this destination Tamworth Things to Do Tip by iandsmith
Tamworth Things to Do: 55 reviews and 162 photos
I know how it feels to see your motorhome go up in smoke, literally; all your dreams evaporating before you in a pall of black, vibrant spiralling fumes. A holocaust of rippling flames beneath, throwing the inky mess skywards, taking your memories and worldly goods and turning them into a charred remnant.
Rosemarie noticed it first. We were several blocks away and the ebony spume clearly indicated there was a problem. My instant thoughts were of the motorhome. I recalled how, decades ago, I had been taking my then wife to work and, from a position of 10 kilometres away, we had joked that it might be the factory going up in smoke. 15 minutes later we were in awe of just that happening as the multi-storey building disappeared forever in a ferocious fire that gutted the premises.
Now I was running. In hindsight I don?t know why. There?s a vain hope that you might be able to save something; anything, from that inferno; but you also know, deep down, that it?s a waste of time and that you?re really racing to see a hopefully once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I was making good time, past the roundabout and onwards. The flashing lights of the police cars were dancing through the leaves of the lower branches of the trees. Sirens of more approaching vehicles pierced my ears. Fear gripped my stomach.
I?d had more than my share of disasters with the motorhome; this would make them all pale into insignificance.
I reached another intersection and skipped between cars in my dash. The next vision gave me a vestige of hope. Was that the top of my motorhome I could see in front of the pall?
Indeed it was and, as I got closer, I could make out the bikes on the back. Perhaps it wasn?t my vehicle after all. Perhaps my prized possession was still intact. Perhaps became reality as I could now see beyond and ascertain that the problem lay some way beyond my Winnebago.
Relief flooded my every pore but I raced on; driven now not by fear but by curiosity. A small crowd had gathered; people lined the grassy knoll and police guided the traffic away from the disaster.
I remember being amazed at how they didn?t get the people further back because it was, in fact, a motorhome going up in smoke and my first thought was gas cylinder explosions.
Talking later, no-one could ever recall a motorhome going up in smoke in Tamworth yet only the previous night two elderly people had been dragged out of their campervan as a dog alerted everyone to their predicament and they were saved before three gas bottles blew up and their transport disintegrated before their eyes.
Luckily, this was daytime and no-one was on board but the heat from the flames could be keenly felt from where I was now raising my camera, along with several other people armed with happy snappers and mobile phones.
Within one minute the fire trucks arrived and had their hoses out. The water literally blasted through what was left of the frame and within half a minute it was only steam that drifted skywards from the melted remnants.
One couldn?t help but reflect just what it is that makes it such an inferno. That a combination of plastics, wood and materials could create such a scene almost beggared belief.
The crowd, sensing it was over, drifted quickly away, eager to tell their friends or whoever would listen about their recent unique experience. A nameless owner?s grief would be lost in the telling of the story of the fire but I knew that I, for one, had known, however briefly, just how it felt.
A couple were about to have dinner when it caught fire and the male had his back flash burnt while the lady was only shocked.
Pic 2 was used by the local press
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