Grampians fire: Todman family's close call

MEMBERS of the Todman family were sure they had lost their Wonwondah Road home as the fire tore through Dadswells Bridge on Friday night.

Rachael Todman, one of six siblings , said the family had received a phone call as the fire took hold.

"Friday at 9pm, after Mum and Dad had evacuated, they received a call from my brother Aaron to say the fire had gone through the property and it was too hot for the CFA to get in there to save it," she said.

"Aaron's wife Lauren works in the fire department of the Department of Environment and Primary Industries so we were sure of the information."

Having dealt with the gravity of the decision to leave and having saved some of their belongings, the family assembled to work through their perceived loss.

"We were in disbelief absolutely gutted," Ms Todman said.

It was an act of sheer hope that yielded the first positive signs of the night.

"Dylan, my brother, decided to ring Mum and Dad's house phone," she said.

"We joked when he suggested it is a fire-fighter going to answer the phone and tell us what's going on?

"It turned out to be not such a bad idea because the phone actually rang."

With that glimmer of hope the Todmans endured a sleepless night, clinging to the theory that if fire had burnt the house, a phone line would not have survived.

On Saturday morning it was confirmed that the house was still standing. The CFA managed to save it while everything around it burnt.

Ms Todman expressed the family's deep gratitude for the work of CFA volunteers and everyone who had helped in the clean-up effort.

She made special mention of those who were not as lucky and sent the family's wishes to those who lost property in the fire.

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