Off-duty fire hero found in burnt out vehicle
An off duty volunteer firefighter confirmed dead this morning after the out of control Badja Fire ripped through the state's south coast on Monday, has been remembered as the "most kind hearted man".
Belowra Rural Fire Service brigade member Colin Burns, 72, nicknamed 'Rover' was found in a burnt out vehicle after officers located the body inside a vehicle 50km north west of Cobargo on Thursday.
The isolated tiny hamlet of Belowra, with just nine residents, was reportedly ringed by fire with just two RFS trucks ready to tackle the blazes.
Cooma resident Jon Kugler first met Mr Burns in 2004, with the pair both involved in the international running group 'Hash House Harriers' and
"His neighbour Robbie Broomham went looking for Rover when he didn't make it to the Belowra fire shed and all he found was a burnt out vehicle," Mr Kugler said. "The vehicle was found rolled, apparently fleeing the fire."
At the end of every November, Mr Burns - who has lived on the property that his parents bought when he was a teen - held camping trips for the Cooma running group to attend.
His place was completely destroyed by the fire that ravaged the area.
"So many people connected to Rover and he was someone with open arms," Mr Kulger said.
"Rover was one of the most selfless people and his entire life was about making friends and helping people out. He was the most kindest person with the best intentions.
"If anyone ever needed anything, he would travel no matter where to help them out."
Seven people have died in the bushfires affecting the south coast and hundreds of properties have been damaged or destroyed since the NSW bushfires flared up since Monday night.
The out-of-control 64,000ha Badja Forest Rd fire near Cooma, was the same fire that flared up hitting towns including the historic Cobargo.
An eighth man, NSW RFS volunteer Samuel McPaul, died while fighting a fire at Jingellic on Monday.
Detectives from south coast Police District have now established Strike Force Indarra to investigate all aspects of the fires.
This will include investigating the seven fatalities that occurred in the District, loss of livestock, properties damaged and destroyed, and the cause of the fires.