Firefighter killed when truck flipped in 'fire tornado' named as father-to-be

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A volunteer firefighter who died when his truck flipped amid a “fire tornado” during the Australian wildfires in New South Wales was expecting his first child in May. Father-to-be Samuel McPaul died on Monday just before 6pm local time, when the truck he was travelling in crashed. Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons on Tuesday said the 10-tonne truck was hit by winds so extreme at the 26,000-hectare Green Valley fire that it flipped on its roof.

Services flags are to be flown at half-mast on New Year’s Eve local time as a mark of respect for the volunteer firefighter, the NSW RFS announced on Twitter. The 28-year-old was married last year to his wife Megan and was expecting their first born child next year. He is said to have died at the scene while two other men from the truck – aged 39 and 52 – were injured and taken to hospital.

The 39-year-old was airlifted to a hospital in Melbourne and was said to be in a serious condition. Mr McPaul is the third NSW volunteer firefighter to die during the current bushfire season. Geoffrey Keaton, 32, and Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, died on December 19 when a tree hit their tanker as they were travelling southwest of Sydney.


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On Christmas Eve, fires have forced thousands onto beaches off of coastal towns where they have been trapped by encroaching wildfires.

Several popular holiday spots along the coast between Sydney and Melbourne are currently under threat from bushfires.

The most serious “emergency-level” blazes span a 500km (310 miles) stretch from Batemans Bay in New South Wales to Bairnsdale in Victoria.

More about: | Australian bushfires | australian wildfires | New South Wales | Australia | Sydney

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