Donnellyville house fire guts house on Saturday

It is the smell that you notice first after a fire ... the lingering odour of smoke, flames and destruction.

And so it was when the Guardian News arrived at the scene of Saturday's house fire in Main St, Donnellyville, on Monday.

The charred remains of the old family home could be seen from the hilltop but the smell had preceded it. On site the ground was sodden, telling the tale of the many who were there to quench the blaze when it started.

Captain of Fire and Rescue NSW Macksville, Dave Brunsdon, said his brigade got the call at 2.30pm and arrived to see both the shed and house well alight.

"Apparently it initially started in the shed but quickly spread to the house ... it went through there pretty quickly, especially with the breeze that was blowing," Dave said.

With no water source immediately nearby, at first the crew only had access to their own water supply, which caused some problems.

The swift arrival of RFS crews from Gumma, Headquarters, Yarrahappinni and Warrell Creek alleviated that, as did the discovery of a creek at the back of the property from which water could be drawn.

"The home owner did try to extinguish the fire himself but it just got too big too fast. It took us a couple of hours to get it all out - it was an old home with a lot of timber."

Dave said the two occupants escaped unharmed. The Guardian News is attempting to contact them.

The Donnellyville fire was the second, on what was indeed a busy day for local firefighters, with many arriving directly from a shed fire at North Valla.

Read all about it here: Shed destroyed at North Valla

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