Fire has completely gutted the Salvation Army's sheds on Sturt St, Echuca, while several other fires appear to have been lit around the town overnight.By Renee Thompson
Donated toys and emergency relief items for the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas appeal are among items to have gone up in smoke during a series of fires overnight in Echuca.
Fire completely gutted the Salvo’s Sturt St sheds, which representative Ric Ellis said also housed the church’s multi-purpose hall and large items such as furniture.
The sheds were locked and the fire seemed to have started from a couch sitting outside the sheds, Mr Ellis said.
‘‘We are waiting on investigators to confirm what happened, but there was a couch sitting just outside the shed which has been completely destroyed by fire, and it looks like it has spread from there,’’ he said.
Mr Ellis was called to Echuca from Salvation Army headquarters in Melbourne at about 8am this morning after learning of the fire.
He said Echuca Salvation Army lieutenant Mark Smith and his wife Belinda were interstate on holiday but were made aware of the fire and were heading back to Echuca to inspect the damage.
Fire also destroyed a couch outside Ogilvie Ave’s Epicentre Op Shop and a window was damaged.
The op shop managed to escape with relatively superficial damage after a nearby resident spotted the flames and put them out with a hose before fire crews arrived.
Liam, son of the Epicentre Op Shop owner, said he noticed a car pull up just after midnight and then saw flames a short time later.
‘‘I could see the flames flickering in the reflection on the fence,’’ he said.
‘‘I called 000, panicked a bit and grabbed a hose.
‘‘The fire brigade was really responsive.’’
Evidence of a small fire could also be found outside Dahlsen’s hardware store, opposite the Epicentre Op Shop on Ogilvie Ave, with two pot plants burnt.
Fire investigator Alan Eley said pager records showed the fires had occurred sometime between about 10.30pm last night and about 1am this morning.
‘‘Crews were alerted to the Dahlsen’s fire at 10.21pm last night, the Epicentre fire at 12.33am and the Salvation Army fire at 12.58pm,’’ he said.
Mr Eley said forensic investigators from Melbourne arrived in Echuca early this afternoon.
More in Friday’s Riverine Herald.
Tatura’s Jennifer Hippisley will head up a state education advisory group after being elected as the chair of the Victorian Local Learning and Education Network Broker Network.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
A frequent visitor to northern Victoria, Care Connect's Graham Custance recently won a national award for his work supporting indigenous elders to achieve better health and wellbeing.
Three Goornong Fire Brigade firefighters recently completed a CFA course on safety surrounding urban firefighting and using breathing apparatuses.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.
A Korean company has a proposal with the NSW Government to built a $90 million ethanol plant in Deniliquin.
SPC Ardmona, is sending eight containers loaded with $250,000 of fruit and vegetables to cyclone ravaged Philippines.
The hunt is on for a buyer for Benalla and Mansfield Toyota after the business went into receivership last fortnight.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.