Yamba house fire death remains a mystery

Remains of a shed on Carrs Drive that was destroyed by fire on Saturday night. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Remains of a shed on Carrs Drive that was destroyed by fire on Saturday night. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

POLICE are continuing to investigate a house fire at Yamba on Saturday night which claimed the life of a 66-year-old woman.

Emergency services were called to an address off Carrs Dr, Yamba about 11.30pm on Saturday after reports a residence was on fire.

One of the first on the scene was Yamba Fire Brigade captain Alan Brooks who yesterday told The Daily Examiner crews arrived to find a Colorbond shed at the end of a laneway well alight.

Capt Brooks said the Yamba Fire Brigade worked with crews from the Maclean Fire Brigade to fight the fire. He said while the structure was still standing when the fire was extinguished, it had been all but gutted.

When fire crews entered the shed, which had been converted into a residence, they found the bodies of an elderly woman and a dog.

Police established a crime scene and specialist forensic officers were brought in to investigate.

Police later confirmed the body of a 66-year-old woman, believed to be the occupant of the house, had been found. Her identity has not yet been released.

Inspector Murray Gillett from the Grafton Police Station yesterday said the crews continued to investigate the scene and at this stage the cause of the fire remained unknown.

Ron Jeffrey, whose property adjoins the land where the residence is located, said he had been the one to call for help after their power suddenly went out on Saturday night.

"The power for that property [where the shed is located] actually goes through here and it tripped the council fuse out on the street, which cut our power - I went outside to see what had happened and noticed this glow coming from over the back," Mr Jeffrey said.

"I went down there and the whole shed was engulfed in flame. I couldn't get in there so I rang the firies and showed them how to get down to it."

Mr Jeffrey then joined a number of other onlookers on the night unable to do anything but stand and watch firefighters battle the blaze.

He said he and his wife had occasionally spoken to the woman whose body was found in the building but said she had mostly kept to herself.

Police have appealed for anyone with information to phone Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Topics:  death fire investigation

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