Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Staff members help protect Shepparton business from blaze

Staff members at Shepparton business Pets Domain worked quickly to evacuate their animals and water down their building as a major grassfire threatened.

FIONA BROOM February 11, 2013 4:58am

Businesses and homes were threatened by a fire that started at Poplar Ave.

Video contributed by Mitch Prewett

Gallery: See more photos from the fire here.

Mitch Prewett went to Shepparton yesterday afternoon to look for a car, but when he saw smoke near his workplace he headed there to make sure everything was okay.

Mitch works at Pets Domain on Benalla Rd, metres from Zurcas Lane, where a fast-moving grassfire was raging.

He and his manager could see flames in the paddock at the rear of the building, but they weren’t sure which direction it would go in as the wind kept changing.

Mitch and his colleagues swung into action, putting the cats, dogs, ferrets and birds into cages and then into cars at the front of the business in case they needed to get out quickly.

Mitch’s father was out the back hosing around the building.

It took the Pets Domain staff about 20 minutes to get the animals safely into cars, and then the fire struck.

‘‘A fire ball jumped into the long grass at the back against the road, which caught and the whole thing went up quickly,’’ Mitch said.

‘‘The wind was coming towards us so we ducked inside.

‘‘The bits that Dad didn’t hose down burnt, but the rest didn’t.’’

For more coverage of yesterday’s fire in Shepparton, grab a copy of today’s News.

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