Body found in burnt-out building
By Samantha Turnbull
Mystery surrounds a house fire at The Channon that claimed the life of a person between Monday night and yesterday morning.
Police were called to the destroyed shack in Arkinstall Road about midday yesterday, but the NSW and Rural Fire Brigades had not been alerted about the fire.
Lismore Duty Officer Insp David Larkin said police initially did not know if the lone male resident of the property was killed in the blaze.
A police spokesman later confirmed a body had been found among the ashes. However, the identity of the body was not known.
Insp Larkin last night could not confirm when or how the fire started or when it burnt out.
Neighbours yesterday told The Northern Star they had not seen, heard or smelt the fire.
Peter Kirkland, who lives next door to the property, said he had seen no sign of a fire.
"The first I knew about anything was when I saw a police vehicle in the driveway next door," he said.
Mr Kirkland said he left his house for work about 5.20am yesterday, but had not noticed his neighbour's home had been destroyed.
The house is only partly visible from the road as the edge of the property is lined with thick scrub.
"We only found out there had been a fire when the police came over to ask if we had seen anything," Mr Kirkland said.
"We told them we hadn't seen a thing."
Mr Kirkland said he was shocked to learn a home had been destroyed just a few hundred metres from his own.
"We were very surprised when we found out," he said.
"We thought we would have heard something or smelt something ? or heard fire engines."
Mr Kirkland said he did not know his neighbour very well, but said he had quite a few friends who would often visit the property.
Tracy Cudmore, from The Channon General Store, said no-one in the village had seen the man who lived in the house since the fire.
However, police yesterday could not confirm whether or not the man was missing.
Ms Cudmore said one of the man's workmates had spoken to him on the phone about 10pm on Monday, but he had not turned up for work yesterday morning.
Another person who visited the store yesterday said they saw the home intact on Monday afternoon.
"So that means it probably burnt down after 10pm," she said.
"It's hard, because if it was in the middle of the night no-one would've heard anything."
The man's workmates, from a local tree-lopping company, could not be contacted yesterday.
Police said investigations were continuing last night.
The NSW Fire Brigade last night still had no record of the incident.
Anyone with information on the fire should call Lis- more police on 66231599.