In­tense blaze

Unoc­cu­pied Fin­ley home de­stroyed

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS - By James Ben­nett

An in­tense fire which de­stroyed a Fin­ley home Sun­day morn­ing is among one of the worst seen by lo­cal fire­fight­ers.

Say­ing it was one of the big­gest house fires he had wit­nessed in his ca­reer, Fin­ley Fire & Res­cue NSW Cap­tain Brian O’Hora says it was lucky no-one was in­side when the home was en­gulfed in flames about 5am Sun­day.

Neigh­bours of the Wal­ter St home con­tacted emer­gency ser­vices, who were un­able to start fight­ing the blaze un­til just be­fore 6am.

‘‘We couldn’t start our pro­ce­dures un­til the elec­tric­ity was switched off, which was about 5.45am,’’ Capt O’Hora said.

‘‘The roof col­lapsed in­ter­nally onto the floor, which also de­layed us from go­ing through the house.

‘‘The ex­ter­nal lin­ing is an old as­bestos sheet, and that meant we had to take ex­tra pre­cau­tions.’’

Due to the in­ten­sity of the blaze, Capt O’Hora called on as­sis­tance from the Ber­ri­gan Fire & Res­cue NSW and Fin­ley Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice.

Capt O’Hora said it took fire­fighers about 30 min­utes to ex­tin­guish the fire, and a fur­ther 90 min­utes to as­sess for hotspots us­ing spe­cial ther­mal imag­ing equip­ment.

He said given the in­ten­sity, fire­fight­ers pri­ori­tised pro­tect­ing sur­round­ing prop­er­ties and trees from catch­ing fire.

‘‘When we ar­rived on scene, I knew straight away that it (the home) was to­tally de­stroyed,’’ Capt O’Hora said.

‘‘From that point it was im­por­tant that all sur­round­ing prop­er­ties were clear from dan­ger.’’

Michael Moloney, whose neigh­bour­ing home suf­fered some ra­di­ant heath dam­age from the blaze, said he was alerted to the fire when he was wo­ken by ‘‘two loud bangs’’.

‘‘At first I thought it was kids throw­ing rocks at my house,’’ he said.

‘‘As I came out­side, I re­alised what was hap­pen­ing and ran back in­side to get my fam­ily out of our house and called triple zero.

‘‘The first thing I said when I looked at the house was ‘if there’s some­one in there, there’s no way of get­ting them out’ be­cause of how big it was, and luck­ily no-one was.’’

Po­lice have con­firmed no-one was in­jured as a re­sult of the blaze, and are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the fire.

Po­lice be­lieve the home was be­ing ren­o­vated.

ABOVE: A Wal­ter St home in Fin­ley has been com­pletely de­stroyed by fire; RIGHT: The blaze at its peak on Sun­day morn­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.