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Update from Kerang captain
Captain Ramon Steel lives only about three blocks away from the Kerang Hotel. He could see the smoke and flames as he backed out of his driveway early Saturday morning in response to the fire call.
“I ordered in more resources before I even got to the fire station,” said Ramon. In fact, it only took two and half minutes after the initial fire call for the captain to request four pumpers and five tankers.
“It’s a massive building built in 1928 with a big old verandah,” continued Ramon. “It’s the first building you see as you come into town with a bell tower façade.
“Residents had evacuated the motel by the time we arrived. We hit it hard and saved 50 per cent of the building. We got BA crews into the reception area and other crews went in through the beer garden. The Murrabit crew was on the roof of the single storey part of the building and Cohuna and Kerang fought inside to stop the fire spreading to that reception area and they were completely successful: that part of the structure was saved and so was the front bar.
“We fought the hard fight but the bistro area, foyer and a little lounge area were destroyed. It’s been found to be an electrical fire that started downstairs and moved up the stairwell.
“It’s an extremely sad day for Kerang but, from a firefighting point of view, I’m extremely happy with the outcome. The façade is OK; the structural integrity is all OK. I wouldn’t change a thing about our response."
See the photos from Northern Times photographer Ken Jenkins here.
Ramon also reports that the injured New South Wales firefighter who pulled a calf muscle is now resting at home.