News State Western Australia News Three died trying to save horse

Three died trying to save horse

wa fires
ABC
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Three young Europeans who died in the Esperance bushfires were trying to save a horse when they perished.

Four people are confirmed dead in a bushfire started by lightning strikes in the Grass Patch and Salmon Gums areas, north of Esperance, on WA’s south coast.

The three foreign nationals were working at Karranga farm, located between Grass Patch and Salmon Gums: a 19-year-old German woman as an apprentice farm-hand; a 29-year-old Norwegian woman as a cook while studying at Curtin University in Perth; and a 31-year-old British man as a mechanic.

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Farm owner Linda Campbell said the three decided to leave the farm after the man got nervous about staying and wanted to save his horse.

However, the trio, hauling a horse float, turned the wrong way onto a road and ran into a wall of flames.

Ms Campbell said the two women had only been working on the farm for six weeks, while the mechanic had been with them since last November.

WA Police are yet to formally identify the victims, though Ms Campbell said she had spoken with the families of the mechanic and the 19-year-old woman.

Ms Campbell said the trio asked her daughter if she wanted to go with them, and she said no.

“I’m very grateful for that decision,” Ms Campbell said.

She said she they had a fire plan in place and even though they had never had to use it, they knew what to do.

Ms Campbell said their shearing shed was lost, and the house was only saved due to the efforts of her husband, son, daughter, and other staff at the farm.

“We only saved the house because the staff went above and beyond the call of duty and did a magnificent job,” she said.

Ms Campbell said they had been cut off from contact and only had a battery-powered radio.

– ABC

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