Andy and Deb Saunders, the fan favourite stars of the recently-completed 2019 season of The Block, are among the scores of NSW residents whose homes are under severe threat from the on-going bushfire crisis. And while the pair were flown down to Melbourne to finish out the series of the hit show, their children have been forced to evacuate the family home at Wallabi Point.
During Sunday night’s broadcast, Andy & Deb mentioned the fact that their family home was in the firing line due to an out-of-control fire in the Hillville area. At the time they mentioned their kids – four of them, ranging in age from 22 to 9 – were safe at home, despite the imminent threat.
This morning, however, the Saunders family has been among those in the region that have evacuated as the weather conditions intensified and the fire again burned out of control.
Deb posted to Facebook a few hours ago, noting that the children were safely on their way out of the dangerzone, later confirming they had shifted to Taree where a family member resides.
Andy & Deb themselves were this morning waiting to depart Melbourne following the Block finale after being unable to secure an earlier flight out of Melbourne due to them all being sold out.
Speaking to News.com.au, Deb explained how flames from the fire at one point got within 100 metres of their property, and even burned some of their outdoor furniture.
“The kids have had to pack up the home. They have taken passports, birth certificates — following the evacuation steps they been given.”
“My eldest daughter Leilanie (22) climbed up onto the roof and filled the gutters with water. They also pulled in the outdoor furniture (some which got burned) and also rolled wet towels against all the doors to stop the smoke and fire coming in.”
As part of a fundraising effort for the NSW RFS, Deb also revealed that Indigenous artists Miimi and Jiinda, whose mammoth and deeply striking piece formed the centrepiece of Andy & Deb’s living room in their Block house, are selling off another frankly stunning piece of art via The Block Shop, with all proceeds going to the fire service.
Andy & Deb are due to fly out to Taree to meet back up with their family later this afternoon.