Community shocked by fire

THE Yarrawarra Aboriginal community are still coming to terms with the devastating loss of the Centre's main office building in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Spokeswoman for the community, Karen Decent, said everyone was feeling gutted, “just like the building”.

“The building housed all the technical side of our business here – all the phones and computers,” Ms Decent said.

“It's been totally destroyed.

“Thankfully all the cultural things are in the other building, which is safe.”

She said guests arriving for a scheduled conference yesterday had been relocated and the centre was closed to the public for now.

“It's NAIDOC and school holidays – the timing of this is very sad but we will be re-opening as soon as possible.”

According to Woolgoolga fire station commander, Ray Webb, the crew from his station received a call at around 4.30am.

“When we got there, the office administration block was well alight,” Mr Webb said.

“There were some problems because the building was made of fibro (asbestos) and the Coffs Harbour Hazmat unit was called.

“Crews used breathing apparatus and full protective gear.” He said the incident was later downgraded after investigations revealed the building was newer than previously thought.

Police said the cause of the fire was as yet unknown and inquiries by detectives and fire investigators were continuing.

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