Found in the wreckage of Bill Coppinger's shed, this is the remnants of a standard 8-metre Stanley builder's tape measure. It has been transformed by fire into a fragile ribbon of burned steel.

The shed, house and the contents of the property at Mount Disappointment were destroyed in the Kilmore East Bushfire on 7 February 2009.

This is part of the Victorian Bushfires Collection, which includes a number of interviews with Bill Coppinger and a large range of fire affected artefacts from his destroyed home.

Physical Description

Retractable, spring-loaded tape measure; last portion unravelled. It was originally contained within a plastic cover which was destroyed through fire damage. The internal pin remains intact; painted measurement marks were destroyed by the fire.


This is a story of good fire preparation but ultimate defeat before an overwhelming firestorm. On 7 February 2009, the donor watched closely as the Kilmore East Fire jumped the Hume Highway and moved across to the base of his property on Mount Disappointment. He was aware of the fire's movements, had vast amounts of water and was properly prepared to 'stay and defend', but his house, sheds and all of their contents were destroyed. He lost his dog and very nearly lost his life.

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