Jason Newman was one of the first to arrive on the scene of a house fire in Kyogle.
Jason Newman was one of the first to arrive on the scene of a house fire in Kyogle.

Kyogle house inferno

WHEN Jason Newman heard a nearby house was ablaze in Kyogle on New Year’s Eve, fearing it was his grandmother’s he threw on his shoes and ran towards the smoke.

It wasn’t his grandmother’s, but when he arrived at the burning home, on the corner of Anzac Parade and Norton Street, it was already engulfed in flames.

“When I first got there the centre of the house was on fire and a couple of minutes later the whole house was ablaze,” he said. “Within five to 10 minutes there was nothing anyone could do.”

With the old weatherboard rental house well and truly alight, neighbours turned their attention to preventing the fire spreading, focusing their efforts on a gas tank at the rear of the house.

“We just had the hoses trying to keep the gas tank cooled down,” Mr Newman said.

“What worried us most was the gas tank blowing up, because if it went up we all would have been in trouble.”

Mr Newman said he and three others battled the blaze until firefighters arrived, also keeping the house next door wet to stop the fire taking another home.

“We were 10 metres from the flames, but you could still feel the intense heat on your face. When I came home, I could still feel the heat on my face,” he said.

“The house was an inferno, so we were soaking the trees and wetting the side of the place next door. We just soaked everything to save it.

“We ran in there and did whatever we could to keep next door watered down. I just can’t believe how quick the burning house went up.”

Kellie Reeves lives near the house, and was one of the first to spot the fire when she went to get cutlery for her family eating downstairs.

She had called the fire brigade, who arrived at 8.55pm.

Lismore Fire Brigade Inspector Chris Bishop said Kyogle firefighters attended the blaze at 8.55pm, assisted by Casino brigade members.

“It was a very intense fire, and between the two crews it took about one-and-a-half hours to put it out,” he said.

“But the crews did a great job overall, and in saving the house next door.”

Insp Bishop said the house was unoccupied at the time.

Robert Henry, who owns the house next door, said they could feel the heat of the fire inside their home.

“It was pretty scary, and the house was well alight before the brigade arrived,” he said.



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