Millions throughout Australia were faced with some of the worst weather conditions seen in recorded history. Bushfires consumed a substantial percentage of Southern Australia, devastating buildings and environments in their path. This included Steve Harrison’s home in rural Australia, with the Artists having an incredible story to tell. Without little warning, the flames flew over the hills near Harrison’s house and approached his property. Using sprinklers and pumps, this artist did everything in his power to dampen the inferno.
There wasn’t an option for evacuation, which prompted the 67-year-old to jump inside his Kiln. This followed after Steve Harrison had created a home-based kiln with fireproof ceramic fibres, which he’d built one day prior. Harrison, along with his wife, entered the Kiln with their laptops, hard drives, fire blanket, extinguisher and bottle of water. It should be noted that pottery kilns are known for keeping heat, regardless if it’s inside or outside the Kiln. These design marvels resulted in Steve Harrison and his wife surviving the destructive blaze, which destroyed his entire property and home.
The Damage & Rebuilding Efforts
After emerging from the ceramic Kiln, there were few parts of his home remaining. The steel beams had become warped, with the core structure remaining intact. Only a few items remained undamaged from the blaze, which included his Kiln and most of the pottery created by Steve Harrison. Shockingly, the woodshed that kept his materials experienced minimal damage. This marked the first time that Janine and Steve Harrison had experienced a bush fire on their seven-acre property, which they’ve maintained for 45 years. Janine was expected to evacuate before her husband but remained on the property when authorities couldn’t reach their rural location. This self-reliant couple has lost everything they deem necessary, including family albums and sentimental items.
Steve and Janine Harrison live a few miles outside Balmoral, a small village in the New South Wales region. Balmoral was one of the hardest-hit locations with these bushfires. The Green Wattle Creek fire destroyed 90% of this town. There is a GoFundMe page available for those wanting to support the redevelopment of their property. Previously the Harrison’s have assisted two other families affected by the yearly wildfires that affect Australia. Regardless, Harrison’s have one of the most unique and harrowing stories to tell. December 21st will be one day neither of them forgets going forward, with Steve Harrison planning develop his new home with fire-resistant properties exclusively.