Kangaroo Island's "garlic man" Shane Leahy loses home in bushfire but KI Fresh Garlic business survives

Kangaroo Island garlic grower Shane Leahy lost his home while out fighting the Kangaroo Island bushfires.

The shed on his property housing his business - KI Fresh Garlic -survived by pure chance, as did his dogs Socks, Lucy and her seven puppies.

Shane recently joined the Parndana CFS brigade and his been out fighting fires across Kangaroo Island for the past month.

On Friday, January 3, he had been tasked to protect properties off Cape Borda Road not far from where the Ravine fire started.

The fire evolved into a firestorm in the afternoon and began racing eastward, including toward his property on Pioneer Bend Road, just southwest of Parndana.

He and fellow brigade member Benny Gaskin were told to stay put at Cape Borda as they were west of the fire in a safer location.

Eventually later in the evening, they made a break for it and returned to the Parndana station, but it wasn't until much later around midnight that he made it back home to check on things.

His house had burned down as the fire raced through his property, but the fire skirted the big shed where his crates of his freshly harvested garlic stood, along with his processing room and freezer.

Miraculously his dogs that had been chained up were alive thanks to the bare earth they themselves had made around their kennels over the years.

The kennels of Socks his male dog had been obliterated but somehow the dog was alive but tangled in fallen branches.

His female dog Lucy and her seven eight-week-old puppies were also all alive, one with burned feet, thanks her big steel kennel.

He also lost his rams and dead wildlife, including at least one koala, littered his property.

Shane went straight back to fighting fires around the Island with the town of Parndana itself coming under attack in days since.

He has been able to send some time back working on his garlic in the shed.

A generous friend drove a caravan all they way from his home state of Western Australia for him to live in at his garlic shed.

Defence video

The Australian Army reservists on the Island also spent a morning helping him process some fresh garlic and he already seeing an increase in orders on his website as people want to support bushfire affected businesses and communities.

And last time we spoke, all but one or two of his puppies had found new homes around the Island where many pets and animals were lost.

You can order some delicious Kangaroo Island Fresh Garlic products here: https://kifreshgarlic.com.au/


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