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Elmore homes escape fire along riverbank

A fire threatened two homes in Campaspe St, Elmore last Wednesday.

ELAINE COONEY January 16, 2013 4:25am

Two homes in Campaspe St, Elmore, narrowly escaped a fire early last Wednesday morning as an unattended campfire spread along the riverbank.

Two units from Elmore, one from Corop and one from Corop West attended the blaze at 4.51am.

Elmore Fire Brigade captain Bob Simpson said less than a hectare of small trees and scrub burned in the fire but it could have been dangerous to nearby residents.

‘‘If the wind was any stronger, it could have got up to the houses,’’ he said.

Mr Simpson said the fire stopped short of a home but residents were already outside as they heard the town’s fire siren.

Elmore’s Senior Constable Dave Rowland said passers-by called in the fire as they drove over the bridge at the small hours of the morning.

‘‘If it (the fire) had 10 more minutes it would have been lapping around the house,’’ he said.

‘‘It wasn’t fast moving but the breeze picked up later in the morning.’’

He said fines of $25,000 and two years’ imprisonment could be imposed on the person(s) who lit the fire as it was on a total fire ban day.

Senior Constable Rowland said he believed the fire was lit by a group of youths who use the area by the river for their activities.

He believed they lit a small fire as the night grew colder.

Sen. Constable Rowland said police recovered cans of alcohol from the scene, which had been taken away for forensic investigation.

No charges have yet been made.

Mr Simpson said he had no tolerance for people flouting fire laws and the culprits should ‘‘feel the full force of the law’’.

‘‘They should not get slaps on the wrist but jail time,’’ he said.

‘‘What they are doing is endangering people and they are being irresponsible.’’

He said the total fire ban sign was placed outside Mabers Garage on Railway Place, Elmore and was also advertised throughout all media outlets.

‘‘People claim ignorance but it is no excuse,’’ Mr Simpson said.

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