Brett Wortman

Not knowing if friends are safe 'horrific'

COFF Coast resident Lorraine Riber has watched in shock as the Victorian fire tragedy has unfolded.

Lorraine, from Boambee East, has two daughters living in the area, but fortunately both are safe.

She is still trying to find out if other friends from the small township of Kinglake are safe.

“We don't know about (our friends) Gary and Linda. We know their house is gone, but don't know where they are,” Lorraine said.

“It's so horrible to be so far away.”

During the Stawell bushfires in 2006, Lorraine said she could see people she knew on the TV news and has been watching news reports avidly in the hope of seeing people she knows this time.

The Red Cross line is jammed with thousands of people calling to find out about loved ones, so she is still trying.

Lorraine's daughters, Heidi and Alicia, live in Bendigo in central Victoria with their families. One of Lorraine's granddaughters was only a kilometre away from the fire front at one stage, but is now safe.

Lorraine's brother, Lance, lost his farm at Pyalong when the fires ripped through the area.

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