Family of fire victim talk to media

Neighbours tried to save war veteran from blaze

A VIETNAM war veteran killed in a house fire at One Mile has been described as a top bloke and a quintessential Aussie.

Maurice Sutton, 70, was found dead inside his Battersby St home yesterday morning after a blaze broke out in the kitchen shortly after 2am.

Neighbours attempted to break down the front door and windows but the father-of-two could not be saved.

Fire crews battled the blaze, which had engulfed the single-story brick house for more than 30 minutes, before locating Mr Sutton near his bedroom.

An ionisation alarm, which detects fire not smoke, was fitted in the rental property but neighbours say they did not hear it activate.

Mr Sutton's distraught son, Tony Sutton, said his father was well liked and was a one-in-a-million bloke.

Vietnam war veteran Maurice Sutton was killed in a house fire at One Mile on May 5, 2016.Photo: Contributed
Vietnam war veteran Maurice Sutton was killed in a house fire at One Mile on May 5, 2016.Photo: Contributed Contributed

He said he had lived at the property for the past three years and had become a well-respected person in the close knit street.

"He was the kind of bloke that would do anything for you," he said.

"He would literally give you his last dollar . . . it is pretty devastating.

"He liked numerology, to expand his mind so to speak, it was his passion.

"He was just a great, great bloke . . . it is heartening to know he was loved by others and not just by us."

Mr Sutton's grandson, Lucas Sutton, 11, broke down when describing how much he loved his grandfather.

He said he would always remember the good times they shared.

"He was an amazing person," he said.

"He was always there for me and we used to always feed the Lorikeets together."

Neighbour Deb Bainbridge said her pets and smoke alerted her to the blaze during the early hours of the morning.

She said she woke up her son before calling triple 000 and alerting other people in the street who tried to save Mr Sutton from the blaze.

Family of Maurice Sutton talk to media. Lucas (left) and Tony Sutton.
Family of Maurice Sutton talk to media. Lucas (left) and Tony Sutton. Rob Williams

"I went outside and saw smoke coming from the roof," she said.

"I kept calling out his name, but I know he wore hearing aids and by that time the whole house was ablaze.

"This man, he was beautiful, he was my friend and I have lost him.

"It is hard to deal with the fact he is gone."

Logan House Fire Support Network founder Louie Naumovski said there were 1909 house fires across the state last year, resulting in 16 fatalities.

He urged all people to check their smoke alarms leading into the cooler months.

"We urge all people to ensure they have a working photoelectric smoke alarm fitted inside their homes," he said.

"Sadly people are not being alerted to fires because they have the wrong type of smoke alarm installed."



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