FIREFIGHTERS: Members of the RFS Casino assisted a resident who called for assistance during the storms which buffeted Casino on December 23. Photo: Mick Stain
FIREFIGHTERS: Members of the RFS Casino assisted a resident who called for assistance during the storms which buffeted Casino on December 23. Photo: Mick Stain

Fireys overcome flooding, downed powerlines

Flooded roads and downed live power lines did not stop volunteer firefighters from responding to residents calling for assistance in storms overnight.

Rural Fire Service Northern Zone Inspector Helen Carlos said members were undeterred and carefully worked around these hazards to respond.

"A couple of members made their way around the hazards and managed to get to the property on foot," she said.

"One of the firefighters is also a sparky, so he was able to make the house safe and advised the resident she should call an electrician."

CASINO: Members of the RFS Casino brigade did not let flooded roads and downed powerlines prevent them from assisting a call for assistance to a property; two volunteers walked in safe; y across the paddocks. Photo: Mick Stain
CASINO: Members of the RFS Casino brigade did not let flooded roads and downed powerlines prevent them from assisting a call for assistance to a property; two volunteers walked in safe; y across the paddocks. Photo: Mick Stain

Insp Carlos said the resident was also concerned for the welfare of her horse but that the animal appeared to be safe and well.

She said firefighters from Casino RFS also made the road safe.

"We sent Casino RFS there as they have a high clearance vehicle," Insp Carlos said.

"Lismore Fire & Rescue had also sent a crew, but they could not access the property due to water across the road."

F&R Inspector Tracey Spindler said the crew had "a busy time," over the past two nights.

Insp Spindler said the retained firefighters had attended a building fire on Summerland Way, Fairy Hill around 5.54pm on February 22, a spillage and two automatic fire alarms (AFA).

Lightning

Fire & Rescue Casino Station Commander and Brigade Captain, Greg Miller said lightning caused the automatic fire alarm at Casino TAFE to continuous reset and activate.

"Just before 6pm, a nearby lightning strike appeared to have fried the automatic fire alarm at Casino TAFE," he said.

"There number of chips in the (electrical) board showed a power surge and it kept resetting.

"The bells would go and then a couple of seconds later it would stop and then come up again as the isolation function was out of action."

He said a technician has since fixed the system.

Hazmat

Capt Miller said firefighters also attended a call to a Hazmat incident after flooding pushed vehicle oils into the town's drains.

"Rainwater flooded on the corner of Walker and Dyraaba Sts up on the gutters and into buildings including an old machinery workshop," he said.

"It flooded into the (service) pit and so became a Hazmat job in trying to prevent the spillage "We helped them pump all the water out of the pit."

He said the crew then attended an AFA at a Casino supermarket which was a false alarm.

However, Capt Miller said a structure fire the night before at Fairy Hill which was initially called in as a hay shed fire was more complicated then first anticipated.

"It was destroyed by the time we go there," he said.

"We put some water on it then the Rural Fire Service arrived as was in their area and then asbestos sheeting was discovered.

"As Fire and Rescue is the combat agency for Hazmat the RFS asked us to stay and assist which we did."

Capt Miller said after isolating the asbestos the crew handed the scene back to the RFS.

"The onus is now on the owner to have it cleaned up and disposed of appropriately," he said.