HOMES GUT­TED

AND MORE FIRES PRE­DICTED FOR WEEK­END

Central Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Vanessa Jar­rett Vanessa.Jar­rett@cen­tral­tele­graph.com.au

A NUM­BER of house fires have blazed through the Cal­lide Daw­son re­gion over the last few weeks. Moura fire­fight­ers have been called to five sep­a­rate house fires with three homes con­demned. Heavy winds are pre­dicted this week­end and lo­cal firies fear this week­end could see a few grass fires from fallen power lines. This is only the be­gin­ning of what will be a hot sum­mer with a busy fire season.

MOURA fire­fight­ers have at­tended five house fires in the space of a lit­tle over three weeks.

Four of the fires were in Moura and the fifth in Woora­binda.

Fire sta­tion cap­tain Pa­trick Hollands said, while all the fires were un­re­lated in­ci­dents, they all came down to the one main cause.

“Most of it seems to be around elec­tri­cal is­sues.”

On July 20, a bath­room fan caught fire in a house in Davey St.

“It was a mal­func­tion to a ex­haust fan and we also had the same thing in ac­com­mo­da­tion in Moura’s Town Camp last Fri­day night,’’ Mr Hollands said.

Fire­fight­ers were also called to a Moura house fire on July 26.

“That one was a cook­ing is­sue, an am­ber from a stove,” Mr Hollands said.

There was a house fire on Nobbs St last Fri­day, fol­lowed by an­other fire at Woora­binda.

“Un­for­tu­nately the house at Woora­binda burnt to the ground be­cause of the dis­tance we had to travel,” Mr Hollands said.

“The res­i­dents sus­pected the fire to be from an air con­di­tioner in that one.”

Mr Hollands said all fires were re­lated to main­te­nance is­sues.

“It wouldn’t hurt to have a li­censed elec­tri­cian come to your home and do an an­nual check of all the wiring and elec­tri­cal items,” he said.

“Be­cause we do have old wiring and pos­sums and ro­dents who do get into things and chew wiring in roofs and ev­ery­thing.”

As sum­mer rapidly ap­proaches, the dry win­ter will be mak­ing for a hot sum­mer with a higher chance of fires.

“We are ex­pect­ing a fairly busy fire season over the season,” Mr Hollands said.

“We are try­ing to do haz­ard re­duc­tion fires over the com­ing week­ends and we have al­ready done some.”

The fire cap­tain en­cour­aged ev­ery­one to take ex­tra pre­cau­tions in their homes.

“Peo­ple leav­ing TVs and ap­pli­ances on, toaster switches turned on at the wall when they leave for work, they can catch on fire,” Mr Hollands said.

“Or if you go away for an ex­tended pe­riod of time, turn ev­ery­thing off.”

Get­ting your smoke alarms checked reg­u­larly is also im­por­tant.

“Smoke alarms are worth their weight in gold, they are an item that is price­less.

“They alerted the neigh­bour in one of the fires re­cently.”

Plan­ning and prepa­ra­tions can also go a long way.

“Talk to your chil­dren and your family about an es­cape plan, where you are go­ing to meet,” Mr Hollands said.

“And when you get out­side make sure ev­ery­one is ac­counted for and for no rea­son at all should you go back in, not for car keys or to grab any­thing at all.

“Be­cause then it turns into a rescue not a fire.”

PHOTO: VANESSA JAR­RETT

DE­STROYED: The house in Nobbs St at Moura which was burnt to the ground last Fri­day.

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