Firefighters Mick Hassell, Colin Harris, Vaughn Thomas and Peter Matthes were assigned to defend vital pipelines threatened by the Morwell coal mine blaze.ELAINE COONEY March 4, 2014 2:05pm
Rochester fire captain Mick Hassell managed took this photo of brigade member Peter Matthes at the coal mine fire in Morwell last week.
The Rochester fire brigade helped prevent Hazlewood power station from shutting down last week.
The four-person crew was in charge of preventing the fire from reaching two plastic pipes on the edge of the coal pit.
Fire captain Mick Hassell said if the fire reached the pipes, the station would have had to close down.
The crew managed to control the blaze.
It was not without risk; the crew had to report back on their progress and health every 15 minutes but were too busy working on the fire.
The members were tested regularly to prevent them taking in too much carbon monoxide.
Mr Hassell had a reading of five parts per million (ppm) in his breath
Fire brigade member Vaughn Thomas had a reading of one ppm and the other members were clear.
‘‘One young bloke from Cobram was not allowed near the site for 40 hours (due to a high carbon monoxide reading),’’ Mr Thomas said.
Mr Hassell said the smoke was so think that the crew could not see a metre in front of them, or the flames.
Fire brigade member Colin Harris said the ground was covered with coal dust, which caught alight suddenly in different spots.
‘‘You look around and there could be a new fire under the truck,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a totally different environment,’’ Mr Thomas said.
The crew worked on the fire on Tuesday and Wednesday and returned on Thursday.
Community urged to back proposed Shepparton drug help facility, as site search continues.
In a tight tense affair, the Yarrawonga Pigeons have defeated the Wodonga Bulldogs by 28 points at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
CHEAP as Chips will open in Echuca next Thursday.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
Last quarter saves potential calamity
Seymour Lions score a close win against Echuca
Scores of local farmers and concerned community groups will travel to Barham today to protest the Murray Darling Basin Plan in front of key Senators and Members of Parliament.
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
Police are treating a fire at a Cobram East orchard as suspicious with an estimated damage bill of $40000.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
Individual district pricing will eventually be abolished in a proposed major structural change to Goulburn-Murray Water’s water pricing.
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.