Inspections too costly, says State

A weary firefighter shows the scars of the fire battle – WA’s |second most damaging bushfire. Picture: Josh Tucker
A weary firefighter shows the scars of the fire battle – WA’s |second most damaging bushfire. Picture: Josh Tucker

‘The firefighters and volunteers, they are real heroes,’ a grateful Stoneville resident whose home was saved from the fast-moving wildfire said.

‘They fought a wall of flame.’

More than 270 firefighters from as far away as Muchea and Gosnells fought the blaze, which razed 56 homes and burnt out about 650ha between Johnston Road, Parkerville, and Alice Road, Mt Helena.

Relief for firefighters

Many families chose to evacuate their homes and more than 600 residents gathered at the Brown Park Recreation Ground on Amherst and Salisbury roads in Swan View. Others chose to stay and fight for their homes.

A Hovea man (62) died defending his property after suffering a suspected heart attack while on the roof of his home.

At least two other locals sustained minor injuries and firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

Stoneville homeowner Shaun, who asked for his surname not be published, described the terrifying roar of the flames as the fire surged over the top of his house as he took shelter in the kitchen.

‘I had heard on the radio that the fire had started and, with wind blowing from the south-west, I knew it would be coming this way,’ he said.

‘I could see the fire coming up the hill, so I jumped in the pool fully clothed and hid in the kitchen as the fire went over the house.’

Shaun said the flames rose more than 20m above the treeline.

‘It was frightening’lucky enough to find their homes standing began the arduous task of cleaning up.

The Federal Government has announced special assistance to help with the demolition of homes destroyed or damaged.

The Shire of Mundaring established a dedicated Fire Hotline ” 9290 6782 ” to deal with all fire-related questions.

Day of Disaster ” Pages 2-4

The aftermath ” Pages 5-9

The heroes ” Page 11

Pictures here, here and here