Aileen Morris

On Nov 16, I was just 2 weeks from having a baby. When the fire came, we stood on the highway all night as we thought this was the safest spot to be. I had the baby on 28 Nov and stayed in bed for 7 days and couldn’t get up. The nurses wouldn’t let me go until my doctor had given the okay. But he’d been evacuated. I was in Katoomba Hospital, in the maternity section. Matron Taylor had bulldozed the scrub from the side of the hospital, so we were safe.

The fire started at the tip. I could see out the window to the nurses home, with all the smoke behind it. There were big black tour buses in the driveway. There were 11 of us mothers in the ward. The sister came in and said, “Got your dressing gown and slippers handy?” But the fire missed us, so we didn’t have to go get in the buses to be evacuated.