Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Christmas Day fire in Mathoura could have been worse

A caravan was destroyed in a Christmas Day fire in Mathoura.

ZOE MCMAUGH December 27, 2013 4:35am

A Mathoura family is lucky to have escaped tragedy after a caravan burst into flames on Christmas Day.

The caravan was destroyed, taking merely moments to completely burn.

The Mathoura Rural Fire Brigade was called to tackle the fire about 5.45pm.

When the four firefighters arrived at the Mathoura St home, where the caravan was parked, it was in ashes.

Reports are that the owners, who could not be contacted by the Pastoral Times yesterday, attempted to extinguish the flames with garden hoses.

Mid Murray Zone Rural Fire Service Superintendent Lindsay Lashbrook said caravan fires are usually too hot and quick for a garden hose to be effective.

Supt Lashbrook said because of the nature of caravan fires, if anyone had been sleeping inside they may not have survived.

‘‘Caravans burn extremely hot, but not for very long.

‘‘By the time the crew arrived, with one truck, the caravan was totally destroyed.

‘‘It was just lucky no one was asleep in there.

‘‘The owner said he had been in the caravan earlier that day, but had gone inside the airconditioned house.’’

Supt Lashbrook said the owners were alerted to the fire when the power in the house went out.

‘‘The fire had tripped the safety switch in the house, which leads us to believe it was caused by an electrical fault.

‘‘The fire did impact on the carport, and a fence, but was not near the home.’’

Supt Lashbrook said the fire crew ensured the caravan was completely extinguished before ‘‘cleaning up’’.

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