Homeowners whose properties were destroyed by deliberately lit bushfires have described the terror of being surrounded by smoke and flames.
Seven blazes were lit between Cherry Gardens and Clarendon, two semi-rural suburbs in Adelaide, in January 2021.
Gregory McGannon was caught in the act by police, while drunk, and was found guilty of lighting them in September.
Today, Inta Sellick told the South Australia Supreme Court of the moment she saw a “tsunami of fire” approaching her family home.
“Mountains of smoke and flames … and the sound, and there were explosions happening and we were surrounded 360 [degrees],” she said.
Despite being found with two cigarette lighters at the scene, McGannon still denies any involvement in the fire, and insists he caught someone else in the act.
“For someone who was part of the CFS [Country Fire Service], it’s shameful … where’s his courage and bit of dignity or humanity around this? Face up to it,” Sellick said.
Also in court today was Karry Reid, appearing on behalf of her elderly parents who lost their home of more than 40 years in the blazes.
“It felt like a malicious act against them, even though the person responsible didn’t know who they were,” Reid said.
“Things have changed forever … it’s a very different way of looking at life now.”
Sentencing submissions were adjourned until next week.