The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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McGrath to Steve’s rescue

Sydney: When a bushfire threatened to destroy the home of Australian Test captain Steve Waugh, teammate Glenn McGrath was Steve’s wife’s Man Friday and guardian angel.

McGrath spent six hours on Wednesday protecting Steve’s house from bushfires that have ravaged the Sydney area. He showed up at the house after answering a plea from Steve’s frightened wife Lynette, who was home alone with her three young children as the fire front closed in.

McGrath wrapped a mask around his face to combat thick smoke and keep the fire at bay while Steve raced to get home from a promotional visit to Melbourne. He managed to get a late-night flight, but was halted by roadblocks near his property at Alfords Point on Sydney’s southern suburbs. So he put on his jogging shoes and started running down the road towards his house until he was recognised by a fire-fighting crew and driven the rest of the way.

He arrived home at 11 pm, only to find that McGrath had been on the scene since 5 pm, helping Lynette and her father Phil Dowdy fight the fires. McGrath stayed until after midnight and Steve’s home was not damaged.

“I got the phone call yesterday afternoon that Steve was down in Melbourne and Lynette was home with the kids by herself,” McGrath said. “I headed over there to help out or do what I could.

“I had a mask just to stop a bit of smoke but I inhaled quite a bit so I was feeling a bit shabby this morning.” He said the main fire front passed within 30 or 40m of the house, but the house was in danger from flying embers.

“The radio was going the whole time so we sort of knew what was happening around the area,” said McGrath. “A few houses had gone up so that was a bit scary.”

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