Premier Jeremy Rockliff is vowing to help the NW coast’s Don River Railway get back on track after several buildings were destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning.
Brigades from across the north of the state arrived to find three warehouses well alight.
It’s believed personnel on site evacuated safely before raising the alarm.
Devastating to wake to the news of serious fire damage at Don River Railway ❤
An iconic tourism icon on a pathway to reach its full potential.
I feel for the volunteers that have put in so much hard work, toil and passion over so many many years.
— Jeremy Rockliff (@jeremyrockliff) April 3, 2023
Don River Railway General Manager Eamon Seddon believes it was an unfortunate accident.
“Some work was being done on the coaches yesterday they were burning some paint off and we think unfortunately some of those paint embers ended up inside inbetween a partition and started a fire in what was a hundred year old King Billy coach,” Mr Seddon said.
Two carriages undergoing restoration have been lost but fire crews managed to save the Royal Carriage, to the relief of Don River Railway President Lynn Laycock.
“Thankfully the Royal Carriage is safe, because that can’t be replaced,” Ms Laycock said, “And neither can the thousands of hours that our volunteers have put in. I just feel so much for them, what they’ve done.”
Devonport Mayor Alison Jarman spoke to the Premier earlier this morning, and says the Council and state government will work together to support the heritage group.
“No loss of life, no-one was injured, that’s very impportant, but it’s still just so awful,” said Mayor Jarman.
“80 volunteers worked down there, and it’s a wonderful, wonderful place, and a great organisation, and I can’t really put it into words.”
Photo credit: Nigel Tuckwood