Despite searching, firefighters could find no occupants at the Murwillumbah house.
Despite searching, firefighters could find no occupants at the Murwillumbah house. John Gass

Firefighters battle home blaze

FIREFIGHTERS braved flames and intense heat to search a burning Murwillumbah home yesterday morning after it was feared squatters could still be inside.

The search and rescue operation was performed in the burning house on West End Street but no occupants were found.

Tweed station officer Leo Ayoub said many emergency calls were made at 9am yesterday morning regarding the fire.

“The Murwillumbah fire service was the first on the scene at 9.06am,” Mr Ayoub said.

“When they arrived they found the house engulfed in fire.

“There were reports of squatters living in the destroyed property, which was unoccupied and quite dilapidated.”

Mr Ayoub said the house burnt quickly as it was checked for occupants.

“There were reports that there might be people in the house so we had to carry out a search and rescue,” Mr Ayoub said.

“Thirty minutes after the start of the fire we found there was no one in the house.

“It was a lightweight old Queenslander-style home and it was almost totally destroyed, the roof collapsed due to the intensity of the fire.”

Appliances from Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads attended the scene along with a hazardous materials unit.

Mr Ayoub said many emergency services teams worked together to stop the fire and ensure the safety of surrounding homes.

“The police, ambulance and Country Energy were all there and it took 40 minutes to bring the fire under control,” Mr Ayoub said.

“There will now be an investigation into the cause of the fire.

“The fire was confined to the structure and no other homes on the street were affected.”

Mr Ayoub said efforts to stop the blaze were halted by a lack of water pressure.

“Poor water pressure in the street did complicate things,” Mr Ayoub said.

“Relay pumping was used which means water was pumped from one appliance to the other.

“This takes a little while to step up and it can make things go a lot slower.”

Mr Ayoub said the Rural Fire Service was also called in to assist with the burning house.

“The Rural Fire Service has tanks of water and that is why they were called in to help,” Mr Ayoub said.

“When they arrived they found the house engulfed in fire”



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