Howard - Bitly

Letter from NSW Police Force to Deputy State Coroner Grahame dated 15 September 2015. 6 Section 81(2) .... system throughout the entire building.18 A fire alarm system was installed and tested at the hotel on 15 ...... their role is to ensure that the emergency management sector has the best spatial and related data ...
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STATE CORONER’S COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Inquest:

Inquest into the death of Daniel Howard Inquiry into the fire at the Occidental Hotel, Cobar

Hearing dates:

13-16 March 2017,11-12 September 2017

Date of findings:

16 February 2018

Place of findings:

NSW State Coroner’s Court, Glebe

Findings of:

Magistrate Harriet Grahame, Deputy State Coroner

Catchwords:

CORONIAL LAW – structural fire; training for retained fire fighters

File numbers:

2014/242390 & 2014/244944

Representation:

Mr L Fernandez, counsel assisting, instructed by Ms J Murty, solicitor Crown Solicitor’s Office Ms K Dobbie solicitor, for the NSW Commissioner of Police Ms D Ward of counsel, instructed by Ms P Lenehan, solicitor for Fire & Rescue NSW Mr N Newton of counsel instructed by Zacchary Carrigan, solicitor Curwoods for the Rural Fire Service Mr P Jones of counsel instructed by M Corbett-Jones, solicitor for Daniel Howard’s family Mr C Simpson of counsel for Cobar Shire Council

Table of Contents

Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1 The role of the Coroner and the scope of these proceedings .............................................. 1 The evidence ....................................................................................................................... 2 Background.......................................................................................................................... 2 Daniel Howard .................................................................................................................. 2 Fire Fighting in Cobar ....................................................................................................... 3 The New Occidental Hotel................................................................................................ 3 Brief chronology of events ................................................................................................... 4 The events of 17 August 2014 ......................................................................................... 5 Cause of death .................................................................................................................. 10 The cause and origin of the fire ......................................................................................... 10 Issues for consideration ..................................................................................................... 11 The nature and adequacy of the training provided to retained fire fighters by FRNSW .. 11 Whether there was adequate control of the fire scene by Deputy Captain Walkinshaw, given his level of training and supervision? .................................................................... 13 Should Deputy Captain Walkinshaw have appointed a safety officer? ........................... 14 The adequacy of the communication between FRNSW fire fighters on the scene and elsewhere ....................................................................................................................... 15 The adequacy and timeliness of the Rural Fire Service response to the fire.................. 15 The adequacy and timeliness of the response of the NSW Police Force to the fire and its subsequent investigation ................................................................................................ 16 The availability and effectiveness of the Cobar Shire Council fire hydrants ................... 16 The prompt identification of “next of kin” and appointment of a support person ............. 17 Findings in relation to the death of Daniel Howard ............................................................ 18 Identity...........................................................................................................................