'We lost the whole lot, which was tough' Scott Pape's bushfire nightmare

Scott Pape, the Barefoot Investor, has the perfect insight into re-building a life after a bushfire - because it happened to him. 

Back in 2014, a bushfire tore through Scott's home in Romsey, Victoria leaving nothing but charred rubble in its wake. 

“We lost the whole lot, which was tough,” he says.

“It wasn’t the biggest and brightest house but it was the house I had planned on living in for the next 40 years. I never wanted to leave.”

Scott's home was one of six lost in the region - it was also the place where he had started his married life with his wife, Liz.

Scott, who is the founder of the Barefoot Investor, explains, “I had left and I came back because I had sheepdogs chained up.

"But I got caught there and it was too late to evacuate so we had to take cover.

"I’m a member of the local CFA so I was fighting the fires myself. I aw a big, black thick plume of smoke and I was on the back of a fire engine when they said, ‘Get out. Don’t grab anything.’"

“It reinforced how emotional your home is. It’s not just an investment.

“The whole thing had been levelled to the ground, but my wife and I just looked at each other and said ‘We’re going to rebuild. This is our home.’”

In light of his unique experience, Scott decided he wanted to help out wherever and however he could.

And the result is an awe-inspiring journey, featuring Scott helping bushfire survivors in LifeStyle's Road to Recovery With Scott Pape.

The Foxtel documentary sees Scott volunteer his time as a financial counsellor and talk to many members of the community about re-building after such devastation.

"There's no blueprint on how to recover from a bushfire, we certainly didn't have one. We were just learning as we go and I think everybody has their own way through it," says Scott's wife Liz Pape. 

"Everybody moves on, quicker than you think," adds Scott on his own website. "And the survivors are left trying to put the pieces back together.

"Yet right now people haven’t moved on. It’s still the biggest story in the country, and we need to harness that.

For Scott, his way of dealing with the grief and shock was getting straight into action. "All I wanted to do was to rebuild as soon as I could," he says. 

The most important thing now for the pair is how their family has managed to pull together. 

"I think the bigger picture is we're six years on from our fire now... and we have rebuilt and we have recovered," Liz says.

Watch Road to Recovery with Scott Pape Wednesday, March 11 at 8.30pm or On Demand

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