“I have been working on the units for the last couple of years,” Mr Belmore said. “Finally got them finished and then it’s totally gone.
“The whole structure has collapsed. I have a 1977 Corvette, a 1964 Holden ute, a 1942 Dodge that I was turning into a hot rod, a beautiful Harley Davidson, a boat that I loved with a couple of brand new motors on it and now they’re molten aluminium.”
He left Mallacoota on Saturday sensing the fire would be bad and sought refuge in Bowral with his partner.
“I am the only one in my street that’s lost their house,” he said. “It’s purely because the trees around me, that I had no control over were there. I’d get a fine if I touched them they were the responsibility of the council and the parks department.”
Musican Justin Brady also lost his home.He was able to save his instruments – including a fiddle, harmonica and mandolin – but his home on Karbeethong Hill did not survive.
“I lost everything pretty much,” Mr Brady said. “I built the house 25 years ago but only just recently, the last three months, I decided to live there as my base. Previously I had lived here but toured too.
“Both neighbours’ houses are okay. Just my place went. I did a big rake up of all the leaves around the houses but it’s a bush block. It’s gone.”
During the fire he took refuge for hours in a boat near a jetty where 50 people sheltered.
“It was apocalyptic,” he said.