THE first I knew of the fires was at 9.30am on Friday morning when I saw a picture posted on Facebook.
I quickly phoned my elderly parents, who live in Elviria, but there was no answer. I knew my mother Maggie, who is 87, would be at her weekly beauty salon visit but my stepdad John, 81, should have answered as he cannot leave the house due to a medical condition.
I then tried the hairdressers but they were concerned as well as mother had not turned up for her regular appointment – something she would never miss.
They live in an isolated position up in the hills overlooking Santa Maria Golf Club so I was getting very concerned. I phoned the golf club – no answer.
Now, more than a little concerned, I called my husband John who immediately left our village of El Gastor to drive down to see if he could find them.
He found the house deserted, with smoke and ash nearby. There was no power, both cars were in the garage, both mobiles on the desk and the old man’s emergency oxygen supply still in the bedroom.
Panicking, I phoned Helicopter Sanitarios to see if he had been taken ill in the night and also the USP hospital where he had been treated in the past.
No sign of him. I suggested John should perhaps go through their address book and start ringing friends to see if any of them knew of their whereabouts.
At almost 4pm John called to say that they have just arrived home, by taxi, still in their night clothes.
What a relief. It turns out my mum had been woken at 2.30am by blue flashing lights outside the house. The police had made them leave the house immediately – no time to pick up any money or phones. They offered to take them to Marbella Football Club or the Costa Del Sol Hospital.
They chose the hospital due to the old man’s condition, and spent 14 hours sitting in a waiting room.
It’s a day I will never forget.