As bushfires continue to burn out of control across Australia — engulfing whole towns and leaving little behind but for the charred remains of people’s homes — remarkable stories of survival have surfaced from the state of New South Wales (NSW).

Steve Harrison, a 67-year-old potter, hid in a makeshift kiln to insulate him from the flames as his property was destroyed.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that he had stayed behind to defend his home in Balmoral, a community south-west of Sydney that has been devastated by the blazes.”I ran to my ute (pickup truck) but my garden was already on fire, the driveway was on fire, the road was on fire so I couldn’t evacuate,” Harrison said. “The day before I had actually built myself a small kiln down the back — a coffin-sized kiln — just big enough for me to crawl inside.”

Read more on this story at