Quick-Thinking Man Crawls into Pottery Kiln, Survives Fire That Ravaged Entire Town


As an Australian man watched a fire consume his property near Sydney, he quickly reacted and was able to survive by hiding in a kiln he made himself.

For the past two months, wildfires have raged across the country, leaving many structures and acres of land destroyed in their paths.

While brush fires are common for the area during this season, the fire conditions have become catastrophic as temperatures rise and the air continues to be dry.

According to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, over 100 fires are currently burning across the New South Wales state, but the weather conditions are causing “an increased risk” in the area.

They have even issued a statewide fire ban to discourage any new brush fires.

Steve Harrison, a potter, resides in Balmoral, a city located southwest of Sydney.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Company that he was expecting the fire to come for nearly two weeks, giving him time to prepare his home and property.

“When it came, it came in like three or four minutes, just a big plume of black smoke,” Harrison said.

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He finished spraying his shed with water and then ran to his pickup truck to try to leave before it was too late.

“My garden was already on fire,” he said, according to Sky News. “And the driveway was on fire, and the road was on fire. So I realized I couldn’t evacuate.”

As he watched the spreading fire quickly consume his property, he knew escaping was out of the question.

Thankfully he thought of a plan.

“The day before I had actually built myself a small kiln — a coffin-sized kiln,” he said as his voice shook. “Just big enough for me to crawl in.”

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Harrison said he stayed inside the kiln for about a half an hour while the “firestorm” washed over him.

“This was like a holocaust — it was catastrophic,” he said. “You can see when you look around, there’s just nothing left.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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