Fireys were all that stood between raging fire and sawmill
NEAR the blackened ruins of a cottage at the Hurfords Casino Sawmill yesterday, site manager Shane Johns said firefighters, who had stood between the fire and embers flying towards the timber yard, helped save the business.
He said fast work by the experienced crews prevented the fire spreading from flames in the wheelie bin, believed to have been deliberately lit.
Mr Johns, 52, was working in the company's Casino office on Hare Street (Bruxner Hwy), when he heard a few sirens and bangs he attributed to traffic.
But when he walked outside it was to see to see Fire & Rescue NSW and Rural Fire Service crews hard at work battling flames and preventing embers from spreading the blaze to the nearby saw mill and timber storage facility.
"I was upwind from the fire so did not know if was happening and when I came out the emergency services were here,” he said.
"Had this had happened last week when we had those south-westerly winds going, it could have gone into our wood stacks.”
He said police, council and Essential Energy were also on hand.
Mr Johns said while the unoccupied residence adjoined the yard was ruined, apart from a few pieces of burned scrap known as gluts used when forklifting timber, there was no real damage.
"No-one had lived in it for quite some time,” he said.
"It's been business as usual at 6.30am today, we have builders on site, there's no job losses and no-one was injured.”
Officers from Richmond Police District launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.
Police will allege that at 4pm on Monday four juveniles attended an abandoned dwelling at Hurfords Sawmill.
"They allegedly set fire to cardboard and paper in a wheelie bin then left,” Richmond Police District crime prevention officer, Senior Constable David Henderson said.
"Damage is estimated to between $30,000 and $50,000.
"Three of the juveniles were arrested nearby and the fourth handed himself into police.
"Due to their young ages they will be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act.”