Barclays Oysters’ Richard Ellery considers the immense cleanup and replacement costs incurred by the fire on Monday night.The smell of acrid smoke still hung in the air as an exhausted Richard Ellery approached the burnt out husks of trays, baskets and sticks several hours after fire destroyed a substantial portionof their infrastructure.
“I’m bewildered,” he said.
As the general manager of Graham Barclays Oysters,one of the biggest producers of Sydney Rock Oysters in the country, Mr Ellery had beenroused from sleep at around 11.30pm on Monday nightto arrive at a scene by Wallis Lakewhere flames leapt100 feethigh in the air.
“I was pretty worried as I drove down Macintosh Street and could see the glow. But when I got here I could see the firies had it contained and it was under control,” he said, with a nod of relief towards the tarring shed which remained untouched.
“If it had got over there things might have been different.”
Fire and Rescue NSW’s Forster captain Paul Langley saidthe first call came in around 11pm for what was thought to have been an apartment on fire.
“Then it was a grass fire, then it turned out to be the oyster lot at Barclays.”
Capt Langley estimated the fire had been going for some time by the time they arrived on the scene.
Video by Ethan CameronPost by Video by Ethan Cameron.
Barclays Oysters Richard Ellery considers the immense cleanup and replacement costs the fire last night has incurred.
Manning Great Lakes Command Inspector Tony Powers said police are treating the fire,which took place on publicly accessible land, as suspicious.
“There doesn’t appear to be an external thing that could have ignited it. The forensic group has been, detectives are following up, if anyone knows anything please come forward,” InspectorPowers urged.
Mr Ellery said that the business had faced worst challenges, such as the hepatitis A contamination in the late 1990s, but termed last night’s fire as a massive imposition.
“It’s certainly going to make things difficult.”
Great Lakes Advocate