House fire ‘as intense as a firefighter can face’ | Gallery

A FIRE fighter who attended a Thurralilly Street house fire on Friday night said it was “as intense a fire as firefighters can face.”

A 23-year-old Queanbeyan man suffered burns to 80 per cent of his body during the intense blaze and has been transported to a Sydney hospital burns unit for treatment.

Acting NSW Fire Brigade zone commander Ray Buchanan said the fire also produced an explosion, which caused the duplex’s roof to fall in and brick walls to topple. He said the fire began while the young man was working on a motorbike and decanting its fuel.

“It was a decent job,” Mr Buchanan said. “We had two fire engines from Queanbeyan, one unit from Yass and six units from the ACT including a specialised Hazmat vehicle.

“The main threat fire was knocked down in 40 minutes and the fire extension to the adjoining property was knocked out at the same time, however it kept igniting into the night and the next day,” he said.

Mr Buchanan said the man’s burns had been upgraded to 80 per cent of his body.

A tenant who lived at the six-townhouse complex, but was not present when the fire started, said a fellow neighbour helped the injured man by hosing him down. Resident Graham O’Neill said he had spoken to his neighbour about the accident.

“He actually was there when the guy came running out yelling. He was on fire and his car was on fire – this guy actually hosed him down to try and reduce the burn,” Mr O’Neill said. 

Commander Buchanan said the fire was not being treated as suspicious.

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