12-year-old Boy Drives Pickup To Flee Bushfire
A 12-year-old boy whose home was being attacked by a raging bushfire in Western Australia drove his brother’s pickup to safety with his dog.
Local police announced that they rescued Luke Sturrock and his dog while driving across the paddocks while attempting to escape from the fire.
Sturrock was alone at home when a fast-moving blaze threatened the town of Mogumber, north of Perth, on Sunday.
His dad, Ivan Sturrock, and older brother were out fighting the fire as it ripped through the area.
They told him to flee to an orange tree about four kilometres away if the fire got too close to their home.
When the fire closed in, the younger Sturrock grabbed his dog and escaped in his brother’s Ford Ranger.
About an hour later, firefighters who were battling the blaze nearby came across the boy behind the wheel of the vehicle and pulled him over.
“Typical farm boy, he was pretty clever, I think the problem was he just didn’t quite know where to go and it was hard to see with all the smoke,” Craig Spencer, of the Bindoon Bushfire Brigade, told ABC Radio Perth.
“So I think he probably panicked a bit and when we found him he was pulled up on the side of the road.”
The fire crew took him to safety and left him with police, who reunited him with his father.
Mr Sturrock said he was proud of his son.
“We taught him to drive since he was about seven just in case things like this do happen and I was quite proud of him; he did exactly what we told him to do,” he told ABC News.
Emergency warnings for dangerous bushfires have been issued in eastern and western Australia.
In the state of Western Australia, firefighters have been battling a bushfire north of Perth for six days.