Family escapes ‘tornadoes of fire’ in Australia

ABC News, NBC News: As ‘tornadoes of fire’ roared toward their home, the Holmes family fled and then jumped into the sea, clinging to a jetty for 3 hours to escape wildfires that have devastated Australia.

The fire spread swiftly in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, said Tim Holmes. “The next thing we knew everything was on fire, everywhere, all around us,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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Photo: Tammy Holmes, 2nd from left, and her grandchildren, 2-year-old Charlotte Walker, left, 4-year-old Esther Walker, 3rd from left, 9-year-old Liam Walker, 11-year-old Matilda, 2nd from right, and 6-year-old Caleb Walker, right, take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages near-by in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley Jan. 4. (Tim Holmes / AP)