Edna-Mae, three goats and 'Mystery Mike' reunited after fire

THREE very lucky goats and some blistered finger tips are a timely reminder for Edna-Mae Grimmett-Green who narrowly escaped a ferocious bush fire.

'Mystery Mike', Edna-Mae's stoic best mate and an equally fierce spirit were all that separated the 76-year-old, her 113 year-old homestead and three goats from burning in a bush fire that swept Lower Mount Walker on Tuesday afternoon.

It was 'Mystery Mike' who emerged from the smoke at just the right time and ran through a line of fire to carry goats Oreo, Bilbo and Chino to safety. Edna-Mae and her best mate of 51 years, Laureen Smith, were fighting the fire on their own when Michael Murphy arrived. It was Laureen who first spotted the fire, as she sat on the verandah with a cup of tea and a book.

Flames were already in the garden, the wooden fence was on fire and the two women rushed to stop the fire erupting into the tree tops.

"She called me and said 'Edna-Mae come quick'. I got the pump going and then the pipes burnt so we were using buckets," Edna-Mae said.

Edna-Mae is sure if Mystery Mike hadn't arrived at just the moment he did, the goats would be dead, her home gone and her life at risk.

"Then this 4WD came up and the driver jumped out and said 'what can I do?'," Edna-Mae said. "I was just about in tears, my age was showing. He's just throwing water where he could.

"I said I had little goats in the paddock and an old goat and I couldn't get them. The flames were heading for them. He went straight through the flames and came out with two little goats under his arm, dragging them along. He went through the flames and carried them."

The goats were taken to the vet with burnt feet and blistered noses but the girls are happy to be home in Edna-Mae's garden. Michael and Edna-Mae were left with blistered fingertips and burnt, rosy cheeks but her home and life were saved. With the help of Larry McDonald, a farmer and the community, the last spot fire was put out at 9pm, eight hours after it started.

 


Edna-Mae and 'Mystery Mike' reunited after fire

IF it wasn't for 'Mystery Mike', three pet goats would be dead. Lower Mount Walker property owner Edna-Mae Grimmett-Green was reunited with her 'hero' three days after he helped save her home and goats.

Edna-Mae didn't know who Mystery Mike was when he turned up at her home on Tuesday afternoon and he left without introducing himself.

That was until the pair were reunited in Edna-Mae's scorched and blackened paddocks on Friday.

"That's my boy. That sounds like the truck," she said as he drove up the gravel drive way.

"He's my hero, the gorgeous boy. I owe him everything.

"You don't know what you mean to me. I keep having these flashbacks of this car coming in and a person jumping out ready to fight."

Horse and bull trainer Michael Murphy was on his way home on Tuesday when he saw the fire.

"I just grabbed the goats by the horns and dragged them out. I've not been in a fire as big as this but my dad is a fire-fighter," he said. "There were people putting it out at the house down the road with hoses so I drove up and came up here to make sure it hadn't burnt into the house. I knew they were in trouble."

LUCKY GOAT: Edna-Mae Grimmett-Green and Oreo the goat were saved when 'Mystery Mike', also known as Michael Murphy, helped put out a bushfire on her Lower Mount Walker property.
LUCKY GOAT: Edna-Mae Grimmett-Green and Oreo the goat were saved when 'Mystery Mike', also known as Michael Murphy, helped put out a bushfire on her Lower Mount Walker property. Cordell Richardson

Home in danger without a stranger's help

HOMEOWNER Edna-Mae Grimmett-Green and her friend Laureen Smith defended a 113-year-old property from a bushfire on their home until help arrived. The help wasn't from fire services or emergency services, but strangers, near-by farmers and the community who battled for hours to keep the fast-moving flames away from the house and animals.

"I rang the fire brigade three times and I was hysterical by the third time, I was swearing," Edna-Mae said. "The water truck went next door and drove past me. I was the first in line of the fire. The only reason we were not in danger is because Mike came along."

Edna-Mae was desperate to protect a 17th century antiques museum at her home, a project she and her late husband set up when they moved to the area 13 years ago.

Leon died five years ago.

"There are so many antiques in there but also this is my home," Edna-Mae said.

"The museum was our dream and I wouldn't let that dream dissolve in fire.

"I thought I'd lose all that history, history that nobody else can tell or know."

LUCKY GOAT: Edna-Mae Grimmett-Green and Oreo the goat were saved when 'Mystery Mike', also known as Michael Murphy, helped put out a bushfire on her Lower Mount Walker property.
LUCKY GOAT: Edna-Mae Grimmett-Green and Oreo the goat were saved when 'Mystery Mike', also known as Michael Murphy, helped put out a bushfire on her Lower Mount Walker property. Cordell Richardson

Edna-Mae has a rich and exciting history, having previously worked as a model and fashion designer. She said she knew what to do in a crisis situation, having driven herself to hospital when an eastern brown snake bit her three years ago.

"I'm quite happy and safe on my own," she said. "I stay calm and fall to bits after."

Edna-Mae said she had no warning of Tuesday's bush fire and could not have saved her property without the help of strangers.

"It's about good people doing good deeds out of nowhere," she said.

"The goats would definitely be dead. Everything would have been gone.

"The little goats would have been dead.

"One of them is quite injured, but that doesn't matter, she's alive.

"Mike came to us and nobody else did.

"You don't know the feeling as two women on your own and everyone else is going past you."



Fire crews called to Hervey Bay shopping centre

premium_icon Fire crews called to Hervey Bay shopping centre

Two fire crews arrived at the shopping centre on Friday.

Bay breast cancer heroine face of new calendar

premium_icon Bay breast cancer heroine face of new calendar

The Hervey Bay woman is a survivor, or more accurately, a fighter

Coastal markets star performers, but shine starting to fade

premium_icon Coastal markets star performers, but shine starting to fade

Coastal markets star performers, but shine starting to fade