A tight-knit western Sydney volunteer firefighting brigade has been devastated after two firefighters were killed in the battle to contain a blaze that ripped through villages southwest of the city.
Geoffrey Keaton, 32, and Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, from the Horsley Park brigade, were in a truck convoy near the town of Buxton late on Thursday when a tree fell into their path, prompting the vehicle to roll off the road.
The two men – both fathers of young children – died at the scene.
Three other firefighters were injured and have been hospitalised.
They had been able to independently free themselves from the crashed truck.
The fatal accident occurred at the end of an exhausting day during which it’s feared some 40 homes were lost in Buxton, Balmoral, Bargo and surrounding areas as the Green Wattle Creek blaze tore through the Wollondilly Shire.