News

Man rushed to hospital after being smoked out by burn-off

Julie and Lyle Barry at Gympie Hospital yesterday. Lyle is expected to spend at least another day in acute care, after being rushed to hospital early Sunday.
Julie and Lyle Barry at Gympie Hospital yesterday. Lyle is expected to spend at least another day in acute care, after being rushed to hospital early Sunday.

LYLE Barry was close to death from smoke inhalation on Saturday night, when his wife Julie returned from shiftwork and found him struggling to breathe.

Mrs Barry says this was the first notification her household had of a Gympie Regional Council fire reduction burn on land across the Sandy Creek Rd from their home.

"We didn't read the paper until after lunch and I had to go to work," she said.

The burn-off was intended to prevent disaster on the huge council-owned bicycle and walking trail area, but for Mr Barry it became a disaster in itself as he struggled for life in a house which had quickly and inexplicably filled with noxious smoke.

Lyle, who suffers emphysema, was transported in a critical condition by ambulance to Gympie Hospital at 2.30am and was quickly placed in acute care.

Julie says that while the council seems to have fulfilled its obligation to let "adjoining" neighbours know the fire was coming up, she and her neighbours live across the road.

This hazard reduction burn on Sandy Creek Rd at the weekend became its own hazard for resident Lyle Barry.
This hazard reduction burn on Sandy Creek Rd at the weekend became its own hazard for resident Lyle Barry. Contributed

"If Julie had been working all night, I'd be dead," Lyle Barry said at Gympie Hospital yesterday.

"The smoke settled down and drifted into the house. I was coughing my guts up.

"I was in a bad way.

"It got to the point where I was coughing with only two seconds between bouts.

"It was impossible to breathe.

"Julie said I was extremely red in the face.

"I was a bit delirious. I didn't know what was going on," he said.

"Don't get me wrong. I am all for back-burning to control our properties and I believe the firies do an awesome job," Julie said.

"He was feeling unwell before Saturday.

"When I got home on Saturday night, he was struggling to breathe between coughing and the whole house was full of smoke, even with all the doors and windows shut."

Cr Larry Friske said yesterday he would investigate the matter. He had been told that all adjoining neighbours had been notified.

Asked if this included people across the road, he said: "I would assume so, but I will have to check.".

He said the wind had dropped and unfortunately, cooler night air had pressed the smoke layer down over nearby houses.

"I checked on Thursday to make sure all the letters had gone out," he said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  gympie hospital, gympie regional council, smoke inhalation




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Caitlyn Shadbolt takes on the US

Gympie girl Caitlyn Shadbolt's music career continues to heat up as she prepares to perform in the United States and release her debut album.

Caitlyn is dipping into international fan pool.

Regional roads among the most dangerous for drivers

RACQ calls for upgrade funding measures that can help save lives.

Goomeri Pumpkin Festival program for Sunday

Fun at last year’s Goomeri Pumpkin Festival during the great pumpkin roll.

Goomeri Pumpkin Festival Program on Sunday

Latest deals and offers


10 Things You Absolutely Have to do in Gympie in Autumn

NUMBER 7: Go beach camping at Inskip Point this autumn and you can watch the whales off Rainbow Beach or Double Island Point.

10 Things You Absolutely Have to do in the Gympie region in Autumn

Tommy Daunt

Tom Daunt sports desk for 27th May.

Chinese trade delegation

Chinese trade delegation visits Gympie region and meets with local producers at the...

DV support march

Darcy Cavanaugh speaks about the Refocus domestic violence support walk on May 27...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked