A large, fast-moving grass fire burning at Gillieston Heights on Tuesday afternoon threatened properties and forced the closure of the rail line for several hours. The fire front extended more than 1500 metres and burnt out about 13 hectares of grass and bush. A major combined operation between Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service had fire crews scrambling to protect houses and the rail line. It took crews over three hours to extinguish the fire, saving all property without damage.
Just after midnight on Thursday Swansea and Belmont fire crews rushed to a house fire at Swansea. Belmont firefighter Laurie Burden said: "The smoke was thick throughout the house and we immediately set to work putting out the fire and attending to a woman who had sustained burns. We put the fire out fairly quickly and stopped it spreading from where it started, on a couch in the lounge room." The woman was taken by ambulance to hospital.
At the same time, Lambton fire crews received calls to another house fire at Jesmond. The fire was burning ferociously at the back of the house. Firefighters put on breathing apparatus and took a hose line into the house. Firefighters are trained to go straight to the seat of the fire, using gas-cooling techniques as they move into the structure to slow fire-spread and reduce the risk of the fire flashing-over. The fire was contained to the rear of the house.