Fire risks highlighted by string of tragedies

Published: 8th August 2010

NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner Greg Mullins today appealed to the community to ensure they have adequate home fire safety precautions in place.

Commissioner Mullins made the call following the fourth fire fatality in NSW over as many days.

"Firefighters have attended two fatal fires in the town of Woodberry in the Hunter region in the past 24 hours," Commissioner Mullins said.

"In another incident yesterday, a resident was rescued from a burning house in Hamilton near Newcastle but sadly later passed away in hospital from his injuries.

"The fourth fatality involved an elderly man who died in his Ashfield home on Thursday afternoon.

"I'm appealing to all NSW residents to make sure they have working smoke alarms, home escape plans, and to be extremely careful with heaters, fires and cooking.”

Commissioner Mullins said there had been 11 home fire fatalities and almost 900 fires in homes in NSW so far this winter.

"This latest spate of home fires tragically underlines the importance of having a working smoke alarm, together with a home escape plan.

"This is especially important during the winter months when we use heaters, open fires, clothes dryers, and electrical appliances, and tend to cook more hot meals," he said.

The Commissioner also urged residents to visit NSWFB and GIO's new free, online Home Safety Audit ( to identify and take action against fire risks in the home, or to visit their local fire station.

For more winter fire safety information, go to