Will I ever be able to sleep safe and sound again? Sunday morning I was working in the garden, saw my neighbour leaving to Spain and kept on working until the afternoon. Looking in the distance I saw huge dark smoke rising from the forest, no bombeiros (firefighters), no helicopters...... nothing. Sunday evening, looked outside and saw the first burning embers falling, I ran down below to put them out but more kept comming. My wife got a call from a friend and one of my dogs started barking and I new things weren't right. Looked outside, huge red glow with big flames in front of me behind the trees. Called my wife, we need to go FAST. We took our important belongings and I drove like a maniac to the main street. I wanted to go to Oliveira do Hospital, but we were completely surounded, I knew we would have died if I kept on driving, so I turned around completely histerical. I stoped at the spring with this beautiful small park in Travanca de Lagos, the town were we live. We were completely lost like everybody else. Suddenly, my wife said: "lets go to this Portuguese family that we know, at least it is surounded by granite houses and cobblestone pathways." When we arrived, people were in panic, praying, saying that we were going to die. Absolute mayhem! We went inside the house, which was full of smoke, and started putting a wet shirt or towel around our face. I kept praying and holding my wifes hand, saying that we love each other so much, feeling that the end is near. Gas bottles started to explode everywhere and when I looked outside for the last time, the fire reached the houses, I could see huge flames peaking above the house, intense heat and smoke full of embers. Went inside, kept praying and hearing the noise of the wind. It made me feel helpless, scared and hysterical. The fire went on and left as soon as it arrived. I did not sleep the whole night, listening to any changes. In the morning we went to the supermarket and saw the devistation: everything was black, burned cars, dark smoky smell. That morning we went to our quinta, everything was black, but our house survived this nightmare. Three things saved our lives: our dog Malee for warning us, my wife Kim for making the decision to go to the Portuguese family and our mutual decision for not driving to Lagares da Beira (the next village). We are still in shock and have PTS. I hope I will eventually close my eyes again feeling the safety I once had. We are lucky to be alive and still have our house. My heart goes out to every one who lost there house, pet, loved ones and beautiful quinta's.
Thank you for reading my personal story! After surviving this hell, me and my wife really want to help others who were not so fortunate to still have a house and everything in it. We know several families and friends that lost everything and only have the clothes on their back left. Please show some support so we can help them to get back on track with their lives. Young children are homeless, animals are lost or wondering the streets and people are desperate and in total shock. Thanks to your donation, we will help them find some peace in their life and overcome this horrible situation. Keep an eye on this page for updates of what your donations help to realise.
Obrigado! Thank you!