Comboyne people help man whose home burned down

The people of Comboyne are rallying to help Vietnam vet Neil Blake who suffered burns and lost his home on December 12. Photo: Rural Fire Service.

The people of Comboyne are rallying to help Vietnam vet Neil Blake who suffered burns and lost his home on December 12. Photo: Rural Fire Service.

An elderly Comboyne man who was injured in a fire earlier this month is still in hospital in Sydney.

Neil Blake, who’s 73, suffered non-life-threatening burns to his hands and face in a house fire which gutted his home at Duck’s Road outside Comboyne. 

His neighbour rang the Rural Fire Service at 3.20am on December 12, alerting them to the blaze.

Sancrox, Wauchope and Comboyne Rural Fire Service units responded, and when they arrived, they were confronted with a home and two sheds well alight.

The crews could not save the house, but did stop the fire spreading to bush land.  

The Comboyne community are rallying round Mr Blake, who’s a Vietnam veteran.

After he gets out of hospital, he plans to stay with a nephew near the Royal North Shore hospital in Sydney for a time.

When he comes home, he will need accommodation until his home can be built.  This notice appeared in the Comboyne Circular.

“Does anyone have a caravan in reasonable condition, which they would be willing to let Neil lease at a reasonable rental for the next few months?  Please contact the Community centre if you can help.

“We will be conducting a drive for clothes, pots and pans, crockery, in short, anything useful that will help him settle. If you have something that you think will help him, please don’t hold back.”

Barbara Ward at the Comboyne Community centre says clothes and two lounge seats have already been donated.  

“Neil is well-known and well-respected in the area.  He helps out at the Showground – he has a special love for it – and is a really nice man,” she added.

Anyone who wants to help Mr Blake should ring the community centre on 65504289 or 65504346.

The story Comboyne helps ex-soldier first appeared on Wauchope Gazette.

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