This bucket was one of three located in a line along Bill Coppinger's shed on his property at Mount Disappointment. The original wire handles were burnt off, but each was still holding water.

The buckets were intended as the last line of defence if the fire hoses failed or they were out of reach. There were buckets at every corner: 7 around the house, 2 in the car port, 3 around the shed. If necessary, the donor could run with a mop to put out spot fires, and water would always be close at hand. Despite such careful preparations, the house, shed and contents were all lost during 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

Stout tin bucket, oval-shaped at top, circular at base. The bucket is formed from two metal pieces: the sides, which are visibly soldered on the outside, and a circular base. Two holes on either side at top were used to attach the handle. The outside has three distinct bands of colour: rust, grey and charcoal grey/black. A ridge near the top of the bucket suggests maximum volume; debris inside bucket is mainly vegetation.


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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