Fire guts Mt Mol­loy home

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER SAM SMALL­BONE

AWARD-win­ning lo­cal un­der­wa­ter film-maker Ross Isaacs is big in Ja­pan.

Two of Ross’ doc­u­men­taries will be broad­cast on na­tional broad­caster NHK later this year, along with an in­ter­view to be filmed in Port Dou­glas later this month.

The films and in­ter­view will be aired as part of se­ries ti­tled Great Cin­e­matog­ra­phers of the World.

“It’s pretty cool,” Ross ad­mit­ted.

“It’s a great priv­i­lege, ac­tu­ally, af­ter years of chip­ping away, to get that sort of in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion.”

Ross is not a com­plete stranger to in­ter­na­tional ac­co­lades, hav­ing been recog­nised as Best Di­rec­tor at the 2009 Jules Verne Ad­ven­ture Film Fes­ti­val in Paris.

He was also nom­i­nated for an Emmy in 2003 for Best Cin­e­matog­ra­phy.

One of the do­cos, ’Hump­backs - From Fire to Ice” Ross pro­duced and di­rected in 2008 with nar­ra­tion by le­gendary wildlife pre­sen­ter David At­ten­bor­ough.

“Lost Years - a Sea Tur­tle Odyssey” pro­duced by Bris­bane based Gul­liver Me­dia, was filmed over two years with the as­sis­tance of world tur­tle ex­pert Dr Col Lim­pus.

“We helped solve the mys­tery of where ma­rine tur­tles from the Great Bar­rier Reef go af­ter they hatch,” Ross ex­plains.

“Af­ter the baby tur­tles leave their birth beach, no-one sees them for 15 years. A LO­CAL fam­ily from Mount Mol­loy have lost ev­ery­thing af­ter watch­ing their home burn down on Mon­day morn­ing.

Michael Bradley, the owner of the home on Penin­sula Devel­op­ment Road, is a lo­cal handy­man and lawn mower who started his week by mow­ing the lawns out­side of the lo­cal Post Of­fice.

The woman who was work­ing at the Post Of­fice soon re­ceived a phone call and yelled out to him ’Michael, your house is on fire’.

“At first I thought it was a joke and then the woman said to me that the fire bri­gade were on their way and that my neigh­bour had called triple 000.”

“When I ar­rived on the scene all I could see was my house in flames and a lot of emer­gency ser­vices sur­round­ing it. “I have lived there for 15 years.” The fire was re­ported at 8am and emer­gency ser­vices from Moss­man, Port Dou­glas, Mount Mol­loy and Ma­reeba at­tended to ex­tin­guish the blaze.

An of­fi­cer from the Moss­man fire sta­tion who helped ex­tin­guish the blaze said the fire was ex­tremely in­tense by the time they ar­rived.

“It is dif­fi­cult to de­scribe an ex­treme fire but if you were to put your hand in front of you, you wouldn’t be able to see it,” he said.

Of­fi­cers were ini­tially given ’soft’ in­for­ma­tion and could not con­firm if Mr Bradley was in the home there­fore two fire fight­ers en­tered the blaze to en­sure the prop­erty was empty.

“No one was in­jured, how­ever the fire se­verely dam­aged the house in­ter­nally,” the of­fi­cer said.

Both Mr Bradley and his part­ner Veronica Cal­way are dev­as­tated by the fire and de­scribed the feel­ing as ’numb’.

“We are both just in shock at the moment. There is noth­ing left of the house, we have lost ev­ery­thing. It is the lit­tle things that you can’t re­place like fam­ily pho­tos, the kid’s birth cer­tifi­cates and our fam­ily pets,” he said.

They both share a 19 year old son and a 7 year old daugh­ter who are still strug­gling to be­lieve that it has hap­pened.

“We would like to thank all of the emer­gency ser­vices, the fire sta­tions, the po­lice and the am­bu­lances who were in­volved on the day, es­pe­cially to those of­fi­cers who en­tered the blaze,” Mr Bradley said.

“The com­mu­nity has been re­ally sup­port­ive to us and we are just very thank­ful to be around such friendly neigh­bours who have of­fered us their homes, their clothes and food for the ta­ble,” he said.

The cause of the fire is still be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by emer­gency ser­vices.

Recog­nised: Ross uses re­breather SCUBA units to

get close to the ac­tion

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