'Bulls**t media claims': the Crowes react to fire story

UPDATE: Russell Crowe's niece Chelsea has hit out at media claims that rural firefighters responded to the family property first before responding to other Nana Glen homes that were at risk.

"Unfortunately, there is a lot of gossip and bullshit media going around that fire crews abandoned properties in favour to protect Russell's home," Chelsea said.  

Channel Seven aired the story on Tuesday night before the Daily Mail, who don't even have a reporter in the area, jumped on the band wagon. 

"If you look at a map and knew the boundary lines the entire property is backed by Tallawudjah and the State Forest," she said.

"Whilst they moved crews to a previously scouted vantage point to attack it as it came through the ridge, this move was not to protect his buildings in particular. It wouldn't have mattered who lived there.

"But at midnight they were still fighting to protect not just from the residential side (which was stopping the rest of Nana town going up and the farm side (stopping the rest of Brewers Rd, Ferrets Rd and the power station. So if you think they were favouring a few buildings of his only, kindly f### off.

"When I went to sleep my house and dad's was still standing.

"But a southerly came through at 3am and I have no update with them next in line.

"Not sure on the update on the buildings at the farm, while the RFS fought the blaze in the forest and paddocks.

"We had one guy running our generators and purpose built irrigation on the roofs of our main buildings to help with anything hitting the buildings. Organic pasture has been severely hit.

"We still have a house, so does Grandma & Pop, Dad and Paul & Val," she told friends on Facebook.

 

EARLIER: A distraught neighbour of Australian actor Russell Crowe has claimed fire trucks drove straight past her home to save the actor's property as bushfires rage in the area.

Debbie Waldon told Seven News through tears: "I'm angry because our friend's house is there burning and all the trucks go to Russell Crowe's. What about normal everyday people?"

Firefighters managed to save a home just 2.5km from the actor's house. However the NSW Rural Fire Service has rubbished claims the Gladiator star received preferential treatment.

"Firefighters are not aware of whose homes they are being sent to - aerial crews wouldn't be aware of whose property they are going to either," a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.

"Crews are dispatched on priority of jobs and the properties that need it the most, we are not aware of who owns the properties."

Crowe tweeted about the bushfires early on Wednesday morning, saying he was not in Australia but his family was safe.

 

The NSW RFS has issued an emergency warning for the Liberation Trail fire which covers Coutts Crossing, Coramba, Nana Glen and Glenreagh Areas. It is burning out of control residents in the area and nearby are being urged to leave before it's too late.

Debbie Waldon told Seven News her friend’s house was left to burn.
Debbie Waldon told Seven News her friend’s house was left to burn.

 

 

Earlier, fans had been reaching out to Crowe on Twitter about the Nana Glen fire, where he owns 400-hectares of land.

The actor took to Twitter on Tuesday urging fellow Australian country musician Troy Casser-Daley to download the NSW Rural Fire Service app after the singer revealed his mother was evacuating to Grafton, in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, "as a precaution".

"What's the best way to be updated down that way @NSWRFS please?" Casser-Dalley asked his followers.

"Get the app mate. It's very helpful," Crowe responded.

"Hope your place is safe. Kindest thoughts and prayers for all threatened by bushfires," one wrote.

Another asked if Crowe had relocated his family and animals, and one fan urged him to "be safe, please" if he was in the area.

"Just saw the warning for Nana Glen, stay safe Russ x," another follower said.

"Get out now Russ … just mentioned Nana Glen on Skynews evacuate."

 

 

Russell Crowe owns a property in Nana Glen (pictured), where the RFS has just issued an emergency warning over a number of large bush fires burning in the area. Picture: Renee Nowytarger
Russell Crowe owns a property in Nana Glen (pictured), where the RFS has just issued an emergency warning over a number of large bush fires burning in the area. Picture: Renee Nowytarger

Crowe first bought a batch of land in the North Coast hamlet of Nana Glen back in 1999.

he then expanded his portfolio with a further nine surrounding lots that span hundreds of hectares across the region.

According to The Daily Telegraph, since his initial countryside purchase of the $750,000 Nana Glen Ranch, Crowe has shelled out about $5 million for a total of 400 hectares including in Nymboida, another area affected by fires.


Also affected by the bushfires, The Block couple Andy and Deb Saunders have been forced to leave their family home.

At the time of The Block's live auction on Sunday, the couple were told there were no direct threats to their family home in Wallabi Point, NSW. However with conditions quickly escalating the couple's four children urgently having to evacuate.

A very anxious Andy and Deb are still in Melbourne following the wrap-up of the show on Sunday night.

RELATED: NSW and Queensland brace for 'catastrophic' fire danger

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RELATED: Sydney suburbs in bushfire danger

 

Andy and Deb’s children have been forced to evacuate the family home in Wallabi Point, NSW.
Andy and Deb’s children have been forced to evacuate the family home in Wallabi Point, NSW.

 

The couple’s four children left Melbourne yesterday, and with no earlier flights available, Andy and Deb are waiting anxiously to return home.
The couple’s four children left Melbourne yesterday, and with no earlier flights available, Andy and Deb are waiting anxiously to return home.

The couple, who teared up just before their Block home went under the hammer following the devastating news of the fires, told news.com.au their kids were safe and moving to a nearby town (Taree) with Deb's sister Cal.

With flights fully booked, they were unable to get on an earlier plane and instead will leave today at 2.30pm where they will head straight from Sydney airport to Taree.

"The kids have had to pack up the home - they have taken passports, birth certificates - following the evacuation steps they been given," Deb said, as she explained the fires got as close as 100 metres to their home.

"My eldest daughter Leilanie (22) climbed up onto the roof and filled the gutters with water. "They also pulled in the outdoor furniture (some which got burned) and also rolled wet towels against all the doors to stop the smoke and fire coming in."

 

 

The Wallabi Point couple, who have lived in the area most of their lives, said they had never experienced a fire so close to the coast and were extremely grateful to the Royal Fire Service (RFS), volunteers and community for their support in keeping the area as safe as possible.

"The RFS have literally saved people's lives and houses," Deb said. "So we just wanted to say a big thank you to them and to those who came in with trucks and helicopters.

"The helicopter Elvis literally bombed water all over some of our neighbours' houses and literally saved them - Australia needs more helicopters like that."

 

The ‘Gaagal’ artwork behind the couple and host Scott Cam is for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the RFS.
The ‘Gaagal’ artwork behind the couple and host Scott Cam is for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the RFS.

Deb, who took to her Facebook page this morning to let family and friends know of their current status, has also informed her followers the indigenous artwork in their Block house is up for sale with part of the proceeds going to the RFS.

"They (artists Miimi and Jiinda) will have more available to purchase and are kindly donating part of the proceeds of every one of these painting they sell," she said.

"Andy and I were asked to nominate a charity to donate to. We chose the RFS and they assure us it will go directly to our area which has been devastated by fire."

 

The indigenous artwork throughout their Block home pays homage to Andy’s heritage.
The indigenous artwork throughout their Block home pays homage to Andy’s heritage.

The humble couple, who made $430,000 in profits after selling their three-storey Block house for $3.420 million, said they couldn't wait to get back to their kids and tight-knit community.

"Big love to our local fire crews and also crews from the Hunter Region who have restored power lines - there's a lot going and a lot of people are involved in keeping everyone safe," Deb said.