Quick thinking visitor averts clubhouse disaster

QUICK thinking from a visitor from Seattle helped save potential disaster at Yamba Surf Life Saving Club this week.

David Burke, who is on holidays with family in Yamba, was swimming at Main Beach with his sister Andrea Burke when they noticed sparks and smoke coming from the clock on the front wall of the clubhouse.

"The clock was sparking and my sister Andrea who was minding her kids nearby called me over," David said.

"When I ran up, it was on fire on the right hand side. The front door was open, but no one seemed to be about.

"I grabbed the fire extinguisher and after a couple of attempts getting out the pin I was able to put out the small spot fire on the wall very quickly.

"I'm glad they had the extinguisher nearby. It made very short work of it."

Volunteers from the Yamba Rural Fire Service arrived about 10 minutes later. An electrician also came and removed the clock.

The hero of the day is an Australian ex-pat who is now global head of partnerships of Seattle digital media company Unlockd. His family have visited Yamba for the past 40 years.

"Lucky he was there or the timber could have gone up," their father Bill Burke, who lives in Melbourne, said.

"Fortunately it happened when it happened and not in the middle of the night. They dodged a bullet.

"We've been having a great time and we love Yamba very, very much. We didn't want to see the clubhouse going up because it's a nice building."

Bill North


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