WA teacher dies fleeing bushfire

WA teacher diesfleeing bushfire

 3 February 2007

published by www.smh.com.au

Australia — A young schoolteacher was burnt to death after she wasreportedly thrown from her car while trying to escape a bushfire northeast ofPerth.

The young teacher, known as “Michelle” to locals, was killed as shetried to flee a raging fire that engulfed the fringe of Toodyay, about 85 kmnortheast of Perth.

It is believed the car rolled as she drove away from the blaze, ABC Newsreported.

She was then thrown from her car and was burnt to death, police said.

A Toodyay resident, who did not wish to be named, said Michelle was believedto have tried to escape the fire, with her boyfriend travelling just ahead ofher in his own car.

The resident said Michelle, who was in her mid 20s, taught her daughter inToodyay Primary School’s Grade 6 and 7 class.

“She was a lovely person and she was a pretty dedicated schoolteacher,”the resident said.

“She taught my daughter and she was a wonderful person, who previouslytaught the pre-primary children and then the Grade Six and Seven class. It’s sad(news) for everyone.”

Liem Nguyen, of the Toodyay Roadhouse, said he knew Michelle, describing heras a great person.

“It’s a very tragic thing to happen. It’s a small community here and wenever thought anything like this would happen,” he said.

Two bushfires were out of control in the Toodyay area, jumping the Toodyayand Toomalling roads.

Firecrews were trying to contain their speed, a Fire and Emergency ServicesAuthority of Western Australian spokesman said.

Other fires have threatened Perth, with the Dwellingup community losingseveral homes, south-east of the city.

Forrestdale, a Perth hills suburb, was saved from out of control fires after100 firefighters and water-bombing Helitac helicopters successfully containedthe fires.

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