Asbestos, poor access, high fuel loads and nearby buildings made a house fire at Shortland extremely difficult for fire crews on Monday night. Crews fought their way through the burning building until they could confirm that no-one was trapped inside. Large amounts of household items made an initial search and rescue of the property hard going. Firefighters Ranse and Kempnich from Lambton Fire Station managed to give an all-clear and extinguish the fire from inside, while crews from Mayfield West and Wallsend put out fires that had taken hold of a granny flat and carport.
On Saturday night, a fire in New Lambton spread from a shed on one property into the rear of a neighbouring house. Firefighter PLF Brander from Lambton said: “Flames from the shed fire were being funnelled up under the eaves and straight into the roof space of the house next door. The heat was so intense at the back of the house it actually melted the glass doors leading on to the rear patio. We managed to stop the fire and restrict damage to the rear of the property.”
The Hunter has lost a wealth of firefighting experience with the retirements of station officers Barry Cleary, Leigh MacIntosh, Mark Kennewell and Dave Fleming, and senior firefighters Marc Saunders, John Hartley and Kim Clarke. On behalf of your colleagues and the community, we wish you all the best in retirement.