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Painter a Nuriootpa fire hero

Painter a Nuriootpa fire hero

Mr Rick Schonfeldt, a local painter, may well be the hero of the day after he assisted two young mothers and their children escape from the fire estimated at around $100,000 that damaged rooms at The Gateway Motel, Nuriootpa last Wednesday morning.

Speaking to The Leader just shortly after the fire, Mr Schonfeldt said he lived at the rear of the motel. He was first on the scene when around 5.30 a.m. he noticed his power had gone out.

From his caravan he noticed a glow coming from the motel and then saw flames leaping from the motel stairs.

 He said, “I put the best of my ability to work, grabbed a fire hose and made sure everyone was out of their rooms because they had been occupied by two women with young children. 

“Together with a C.F.S. man from across the road, we got into the fire and waited until emergency services arrived. The children were aged from eight to four and one and a half years.”

According to Mr Schonfeldt, it was natural instinct that came into it. He believed the fire may have started from a bedroom at the rear of one of the motel units.

He was upset to have missed a day of work but added, “You can always replace buildings but you can’t replace lives.”

Mr Geoffrey Payne, owner of the motel, said despite the fire damage he was confident that he would still be able to accommodate all his guests as normal in other rooms.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.