It has been a nightmare few weeks for residents of Nardy House in Quaama.
Not only did fire surround the home for people with profound physical disabilities on New Year's Eve, but when its clients tried to seek shelter at Bega's hospital most were turned away.
Then after finding refuge in an aged care home in Eden, these clients were again forced to evacuate when the Border Fire came close to the town - this time taken to safety in Canberra.
"I was outraged and very angry because Bega hospital is a brand new hospital, there's plenty of room and plenty of space," Nardy House CEO Denise Redmond said.
"The hospital is a place of refuge and it is a public facility.
"The needs of the public should be able to be accommodated at the facility during times of crisis."
She said very early on January 31 the four clients, all of whom are unable to move by themselves, had to be evacuated as the fire was quite close to the back of the building.
They were helped into vehicles and then escorted by the NSW Rural Fire Service south along the highway through the blaze at McLeods Hill to Bega, where staff had planned to take them to the South East Regional Hospital.
Ms Redmond said the clients could not evacuate to anywhere else in the area apart from the hospital due to their high levels of medical need, but when they arrived they were told to go to the official evacuation centre at Bega Showground.
"We only needed a small space in Bega hospital where our staff could look after our residents," she said.
"Bega Showground is not equipped to take people with medical needs."
One of the house's residents, a child, was eventually admitted to the hospital, but the other three adults had to be taken to Eden - until the fire that moved north from the Victorian border encroached on the town and they had to again be relocated, this time to Canberra.
When Ms Redmond was asked what the toll had been on the clients she said they were now "glad to be back", but they were displaced when they were in Canberra and do not cope well with being in different situations.
A Southern NSW Local Health District (LHD) spokesperson said the health district acknowledged the communication and support regarding care of the Nardy House residents did not meet expectations and apologised for any distress caused.
"One resident was admitted to the paediatric ward for medical care, while the other three residents were transferred to a health facility at Eden for appropriate support," the spokesperson said.
"The LHD has since met with representatives of Nardy House and is developing a collaborative emergency plan should the need to evacuate arise again to ensure the residents' wellbeing is a priority."
Fortunately Nardy House did not suffer any damage during the fire, although its surroundings did, as it was saved "by the good grace of the RFS", Ms Redmond said.
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