in

Two bodies are found inside the remains of a home destroyed in raging NSW bushfires

Loading...

The bodies of an elderly couple have been found in the smouldering rubble of their home that was destroyed by bushfire.

The remains of the 77-year-old man and 69-year-old woman were discovered inside a house in Coongbar in northern NSW on Thursday.

The couple were last seen at their home on Deadman Creek Road before the deliberately lit fire reduced it to a pile of rubble on Tuesday.

A desperate search is underway for a couple missing after their home was destroyed by bushfires raging through northern NSW

 A desperate search is underway for a couple missing after their home was destroyed by bushfires raging through northern NSW

Liam McKenzie inspects the remains of his house which was destroyed by bushfires in Rappville, NSW, along with 20 others

Liam McKenzie inspects the remains of his house which was destroyed by bushfires in Rappville, NSW, along with 20 others

Police, firefighters, and SES volunteers arrived at their house on Wednesday night in a desperate search for the couple and found it had burned down.

NSW Police and specialist forensic officers returned to the home on Thursday morning and found their bodies inside the ruins. 

A post-mortem examination will be conducted to officially identify the bodies and the cause of death

Police said they would keep the families of the missing man and woman apprised of developments in the case. 

Superintendent Toby Lindsay earlier said police were worried about the two missing people after the fire destroyed 21 homes in the area.

‘We always hope for the best but we’ve obviously got to treat it at its worst. We’ve seen the devastation in town. It’s a very large fire and it’s still active,’ he said. 

Superintendent Toby Lindsay said police were worried about the two missing people after the fire destroyed 21 homes in the area

Teams are still assessing how many properties have been lost or damaged in the suspicious blaze which is believed to have started in the Busbys Flat area on Friday night

Teams are still assessing how many properties have been lost or damaged in the suspicious blaze which is believed to have started in the Busbys Flat area on Friday night

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said police and firefighters were working with the family and local community to find the missing couple.

‘We had 13 to 15 people unaccounted for yesterday. We’re down to two people at the moment,’ he said.

‘Obviously we have concerns for their welfare, but we’re still working through a process to identify where they might be.’  

Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow on Thursday morning confirmed a handful of people were still unaccounted for.

‘We have still got some people missing and the longer that goes on the more concerning it gets,’ he told the ABC.

‘I would ask people, if you’ve vacated your property, please go down to the evacuation centre (and) register.’

The mayor said the loss of a local timber mill would hurt 30 employees and have a ‘big impact on our community’.

Police are hunting for whoever may have deliberately the fire in what NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott described as a ‘bastard act’.  

Commissioner Fitzsimmons said in the absence of any other obvious cause the blaze was being treated as suspicious.

‘We’ve got to call it out – it’s a heinous crime, a criminal act,’ he told the 9 News.

Police are hunting for whoever may have deliberately the fire in what NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott described as a 'bastard act'

Police are hunting for whoever may have deliberately the fire in what NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott described as a ‘bastard act’

RFS Commissioner Fitzsimmons said in the absence of any other obvious cause the blaze was being treated as suspicious

RFS Commissioner Fitzsimmons said in the absence of any other obvious cause the blaze was being treated as suspicious

Strikeforce Cleander has been formed to investigate the cause of the fire.

NSW Police district commander Superintendent Toby Lindsay said the strike force ‘will leave no stone unturned so we can provide answers for the rural communities impacted by this disaster’.

Rapville residents who’ve lost everything are picking over the remains of their lives, as others offer quiet thanks their homes in the tiny rural hamlet were saved.

Naomi Elwell’s house is still standing but her mum’s, a few doors away, has been reduced to a pile of contorted metal.

Ms Elwell said the firestorm that hit the northern NSW village of 250 residents on Tuesday arrived with such speed there was simply no time for a proper evacuation of the town.

She tweaks at her fire-singed hair as she describes bundling her mum into the car, telling her she had to leave now.

Loading...
Kam McInnes and his eight year-old son Jarrod pose next to the remains of a house they were about to buy and was destroyed by bushfires in Rappville

Kam McInnes and his eight year-old son Jarrod pose next to the remains of a house they were about to buy and was destroyed by bushfires in Rappville

Naomi Elwell inspect the remains of her mother's house which was destroyed when the fire arrived with such speed there was simply no time for a proper evacuation of the town

Naomi Elwell inspect the remains of her mother’s house which was destroyed when the fire arrived with such speed there was simply no time for a proper evacuation of the town

‘I literally had embers in my hair. The wind was just unbelievable as I tried to get mum and her dog into the car,’ she said.

Naomi got out to nearby Casino but her mum Dona Lee Sloan was just a minute or two too late, and wound up stranded when roads out of the town became impassible.

The school cleaner scrambled to open up the building and soon found she had dozens of others for company, some with goats, others with dogs, one with an emu.

‘It’s just so lucky she had the keys and people had a safe place to shelter,’ she said.

‘Mum and her partner Neil, they’re battlers. They’ve worked so hard for everything they had and it’s gone now. And the memories, a lifetime’s worth,’ she said as she picked through the remains of the home.

Among the things lost are antiques and jewellery belonging to her grandmother who died just a couple of months ago.

Naomi’s brother Liam MacKenzie lived with his mum and his worldly belongings are now limited to the shirt and shorts he’s wearing.

Across the Busbys Flat and Drake fires - which have joined together in recent days and burned 115,000 hectares - at least 21 homes have been destroyed

Across the Busbys Flat and Drake fires – which have joined together in recent days and burned 115,000 hectares – at least 21 homes have been destroyed

Teams are still assessing how many properties have been lost or damaged in the suspicious blaze which is believed to have started in the Busbys Flat area on Friday night

Teams are still assessing how many properties have been lost or damaged in the suspicious blaze which is believed to have started in the Busbys Flat area on Friday night

‘I’m ok. I’m not materialistic. I can go to Vinnies and get a couple of new shirts,’ he said as he managed to salvage two coffee cups from the house. ‘This one’s got a crack. Ah well.’

Teams are still assessing how many properties have been lost or damaged in the suspicious blaze which is believed to have started in the Busbys Flat area on Friday night.

Across the Busbys Flat and Drake fires – which have joined together in recent days and burned 115,000 hectares – at least 21 homes have been destroyed. 

Fifteen were in the Rappville area while the remainder were impacted by the Drake blaze.

Mr Fitzsimmons said 34 bushfires continue to burn across NSW, eight of which remain out of control. 

However, all fires are currently at the lower ‘advice’ alert level after a number of emergency warnings were downgraded on Wednesday.

Allan Robertson lost his Rappville home and was left with the clothes he was wearing, his phone and ‘my worst thongs’.

Across the Busbys Flat and Drake fires - which have joined together in recent days and burned 115,000 hectares - at least 21 homes have been destroyed

Across the Busbys Flat and Drake fires – which have joined together in recent days and burned 115,000 hectares – at least 21 homes have been destroyed

All fires are currently at the lower 'advice' alert level after a number of emergency warnings were downgraded on Wednesday

All fires are currently at the lower ‘advice’ alert level after a number of emergency warnings were downgraded on Wednesday

He said he was uninsured and his partner was in palliative care.

‘It was just like a massive fireball. There was nothing you could do. The heat was horrendous,’ he told 10 News on Wednesday.

The NSW RFS said a number of residents were treated for minor burns and breathing difficulties.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said the federal government will provide ‘whatever assistance is necessary’.

The Brisbane to Sydney rail line has been cut and won’t be operational again for an estimated five days.

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance tweeted that stretches of the rail line had been damaged and the Rappville rail bridge destroyed.

The RFS said residents likely won’t be able to return home for a number of days given trees are down across roads and power lines are on the ground.

The fire service also warned that even though better conditions are forecast for Thursday blazes could flare again.

Source link

Loading...

Leave a Reply

MMR: End the vaccine ignorance

Female babysitter, 19, is charged with sexual battery on a six-year-old girl