Free digs for frazzled fireys

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A Queenstown volunteer firefighter’s helping to give free accommodation to weary Aussie fireys needing a break from fighting devastating bushfires.

Aaron Murphy, who co-owns Queenstown Luxury Property Management, put out the call to owners of holiday homes he manages, and so far 15 have offered to put up fireys for five nights.

With some of their homes being quite large, Murphy says at least 20 fireys and their families could be accommodated.

“Many of our owners are in Australia, many of them are all over the world.”

Murphy’s been in touch with the New Zealand Professional Firefighters’ Union, which put out the original plea for NZ holiday home owners to accommodate career and volunteer fireys, and is liaising with its Aussie counterpart.

He says his company, and sister company, Partners in Grime, will handle all the cleaning and property management for free.

It’s likely the fireys will come in late May, at the earliest, after the fire season.

As a firey himself, Murphy’s used to dealing with “some pretty challenging stuff”, but he can’t imagine what his Aussie colleagues are going through.

He’s also keen to see if other tourist operators could help out when the fireys and their families arrive – his email’s aaron@qlpm.co.nz

scoop@scene.co.nz