Fire drama in “Up and away”
House of TV emigrants burns down completely
Anita Thomi and Alain Aegerter have just realized their dream on the Greek Peloponnese. And just a few weeks later, the couple from the SRF emigrant series “Up and Away” is faced with the ruins of their existence.
Published: 13 minutes ago
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Alain Aegerter and Anita Thomi wanted to start a new life in Greece and bought a house on the Peloponnese peninsula.
Berit-Silja GründlersEditor People
When Anita Thomi and Alain Aegerter pack their belongings in the Emmental and move into their dream house on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula, the couple has no idea that only a few weeks later they will be happy to be able to hug each other at all.
Together with Aegerter’s parents, the Bernese were finally able to start realizing their dream of holidays for reptile lovers. But just three weeks after Thomi and Aegerter moved in, terrible forest fires raged in Greece. Also in the Peloponnese. «First we could only see smoke and then the fire came over the mountain. You suddenly saw it burning everywhere. It’s getting closer so fast. We were suddenly surrounded,” says Anita Thomi, who was in Greece without her husband Alain at the time. He had to go back to Switzerland to organize the import of the couple’s numerous reptiles.
“Now you die”
Anita Thomi fled in the car with her in-laws. But it seemed as if they could not escape the flames. “I thought: ‘Now it’s time. Now you’re dying here with your in-laws in the car.'”
A neighbor who also fled found his way out of the wall of fire via a dirt road and saved the family’s life. Their existence, however, lies in rubble and ashes. The house that the couple bought a year earlier for 200,000 francs burned down to the ground. The couple did not take out insurance. What hurts most, however, are the possessions of emotional value that fell victim to the flames. “There are books with dedications, drawings by the children. It’s all gone,” says Alain Aegerter.
“I stay here”
The only lucky thing is that the 24 snakes and almost fifty turtles haven’t moved to Greece yet. “I could not have lived with that if something had happened to our animals,” says Anita Thomi, relieved.
The Greek state, according to Emmentaler’s local broker, will assume eighty percent of the costs of the loss. Alain Aegerter is skeptical. He says: “I’ll only believe that when the time comes.”
All Anita Thomi still has after the fire is a small pile of clothes. “A pair of shorts, some T-shirts and a pair of shoes.” But the Swiss is happy that she survived and is certain: “I’m staying here. This is my home.”