This is the remains of a plate glass window from Bill Coppinger's home at Mount Disappointment destroyed by the Kilmore East Bushfire on 7 February 2009. The floor-to-ceiling windows were a major feature of the home. They faced south and ran the length of the house, approximately 25 metres.
The house was purchased in 1996 and was about 22 years old. It had four bedrooms, a parent's retreat, two bathrooms, kitchen, lounge, dining room and laundry. The new owner undertook extensive renovations. He replaced the decking, landscaped around the pool, replaced all the external timber cladding with corrugated iron, replaced the timber window frames with aluminium and changed to a flat iron roof. Fire preparation included sprinklers installed under the house and on the roof. High mist sprays and larger impact sprays were designed to provide a continuous spray of water to protect the house from fire and embers: they could saturate the area 3-5 metres around the entire house, and saturate the decks in just 10 minutes. Despite all this, the house and its contents were destroyed. The owner survived.
This is part of the Victorian Bushfires Collection, which includes a number of interviews with Bill Coppinger and a large range of fire affected artefacts from his destroyed home.
Melted glass with embedded debris. The glass originally formed a floor-to-ceiling window in the house; the glass has slumped and compacted into an irregular shape. At some points, the glass pane shape remains, while other areas have formed an unidentifiable mass.
This is a story of good fire preparation but ultimate defeat before an overwhelming firestorm. On 7 February 2009, the donor watched closely as the Kilmore East Fire jumped the Hume Highway and moved across to the base of his property on Mount Disappointment. He was aware of the fire's movements, had vast amounts of water and was properly prepared to 'stay and defend', but his house and all its contents were destroyed. He lost his dog and very nearly lost his life.
Donation from Mr Bill Coppinger, 2009
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