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.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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