From the Newsroom

A home at Yamba’s Palm Lake Resort was gutted by fire and a 73-year-old woman passed away due to smoke inhalation on Tuesday, June 27. Image: Fire and Rescue NSW

Yamba house fire fatality

Rodney Stevens


Tragedies continue to rock the Lower Clarence with the news a faulty electric blanket caused a house fire at Yamba’s Palm Lake Resort that sadly claimed the life of a woman.

Palm Lake Group said in a statement the organisation is devastated to learn of the death of one of its homeowners following a house fire at Palm Lake Resort Yamba.

Emergency services attended the resort on Orion Drive just before 9.30pm on Tuesday, June 27, to find the home well alight and a 73-year-old occupant suffering smoke inhalation.

Fire and Rescue NSW brigades from Yamba, Maclean and Grafton attended the scene along with Coffs Clarence police and NSW Ambulance paramedics.

While emergency services made every effort to resuscitate the homeowner, she has unfortunately succumbed to her injuries.

The fire at a home in Yamba’s Palm Lake Resort was contained to the bedroom where a 73-year-old woman passed away die to smoke inhalation after a faulty electric blanket sparked the blaze. Image: Fire and Rescue NSW

Palm Lake Resort Yamba’s acting caretaker Robyn Haggarty said police were on scene all night, with detective and forensic experts back there today trying to establish a cause for the fire.

Mrs Haggarty said the homeowner had been living at Palm Lake Resort Yamba since 2018 and she was living alone at the time of the fire, apart from her small dog that was rescued from the fire and taken away from the scene for treatment.

The acting caretakers commended the fire fighters for containing the blaze, given there are 185 homes across the resort, and while the home appears unaffected from the front, Mrs Haggarty said the back of the structure has been gutted.

Palm Lake Group Managing Director Scott Elliott said a support team was on its way to Yamba to ensure neighbouring homeowners and all resort staff have members have access to the support they need at this sad time.

Police returned to the resort following the fire to provide homeowners with information about how to seek additional support services.

A fire investigation team who examined the home to determine the cause of the fire discovered a faulty electric blanket sparked the blaze.

Fire and Rescue NSW Investigator Chris Hughes advised anyone who uses an electric blanket to follow these tips that may save your life.

“It’s essential that you check any electric blankets for worn out or bent wiring,” he said.

“If the blanket’s been compromised electrically, don’t take any chances.

“If there’s brown scorching on the blanket or a frayed power cord, throw it out and replace it.

“It’s also crucial to remember that electric blankets should not remain on all night – use them to warm your bed and switch them off to reduce the fire risk.”

This is the sixth tragic death to rock the Lower Clarence in the last two months after a man in his 20’s drowned at Yamba Community Pool on May 5, then a 58-year-old man and his 15-year-old son were both found dead in tragic circumstances on June 1, just days later the body of a missing 65-year-old Yamba man was found in the Clarence River on June 9, and a 55-year-old Maclean man was hit and killed by a bus on June 20.