A Junee man has been left heartbroken after a fire ripped through his collection of motor vehicles leaving him with thousands of dollars in losses.
Brian O’Donnell, 65, noticed a small grass fire had started on his property at 3.25pm on Saturday.
Immediately calling emergency services, Mr O’Donnell attempted to fight the fire with a garden hose.
“It caught the shed and spiralled,” he said.
“I am a car enthusiast and I have lost about $140,000.
“In the shed itself, there were seven motorbikes with an average value of $4000 to $5000.”
Mr O’Donnell confirmed police had arrested him for his own safety, as he attempted to continue fighting the fire, before he was released and taken to hospital for smoke inhalation.
“I was right in there holding the hose,” he said.
Sunday morning, as he surveyed the damage, Mr O’Donnell said he was heartbroken by what had happened and he had no way to replace the treasures he had lost.
“It is frustrating,” he said.
“I have no insurance and I don’t know the full damage.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”
Crews from Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service attended the fire on the rural property near the intersection of Gundagai Road and Kahmoo Lane.
Mr O’Donnell said it took about three hours for the fire to be brought under control and crews remained on site for a while to make sure it was safe.
Fire and Rescue NSW Riverina Duty Commander Adam Wixx said they were able to save the residential house but unfortunately they were unable to save the sheds and the estimated 100 cars and other items on the property.
Police established a roadblock around Gundagai Road and Kahmoo Lane, but it was reopened on Saturday evening.
At the time of the incident, Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Michael Jay said four RFS tankers and police had attended.
“There was a large fire near a house and a car and under power lines,” he said on Saturday night.
“There were explosions and we put up a 500-metre exclusion zone. Fire and Rescue NSW had a senior officer, two pumpers and a tanker at the incident.”
Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
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