Town in shock after Tas homes lost

Town in shock after Tas homes lost

12 December 2006

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Tasmania, Australia — The Tasmanian east coast town ofScamander is in shock this morning after a bushfire destroyed up to 18 homeslast night.

The Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) will soon assess exactlyhow many homes were lost and damaged in last night’s fire storm.

Motel owner Vic Cato says it is a very eerie morningbecause the town is still without power and the air is filled with a smoky haze.

Mr Cato says it is hard to comprehend how so many houseswere lost in a bushfire so close to the coast.

He says he feels for those residents who are without ahouse this morning.

“Some of the houses that have been destroyed, thepeople have lived here all their lives and to wake up this morning and notknowing how their lives will be changed will have an enormous impact on them,”he said.

“I believe most of the places that have beendestroyed – they were permanent residents.”

It is believed up to 18 homes were destroyed, but theexact number will not be known until firefighters do a proper assessment atdaylight.

Fire moves north

Meanwhile the fire is continuing to move north thismorning, but no homes are under any immediate threat.

The TFS says St Marys pass remains closed until furthernotice.

Local resident Sandy says the community is thankfulno-one was injured in the fire last night, but she says many people includingherself were worried about escaping in time.

“I have never in my life seen such black and redclouds and smoke in the sky,” she said.

“My heart was just thumping, I thought ‘I’m notgoing to make it’ and I was only coming from St Helens to Upper ScamanderRoad.”

Councillor David Clement from Break O’Day Council says itis incredible no-one has been reported injured by the fire, which has been afrightening experience.

“Incredible evil sulphurous cloud of black smokeblack and yellow and luminous green – it was terrifying,” he said.

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