The West

Compensation bid by Perth Hills fire victims
Compensation bid by Perth Hills fire victims

A group of 12 Kelmscott residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the Perth Hills fires will sue for compensation.

They have formed the Kelmscott Bushfire Action Group and retained lawyer Kevin Banks-Smith, who represented residents affected by the 2003 Tenterden and 2007 Toodyay bushfires.

Mr Banks-Smith said the group instructed him to pursue all legal avenues available to compensate for the loss and damage from the fire which destroyed 71 homes and damaged 39 others, though it hoped to avoid legal action.

Lindy Porter, a lawyer for Robert James Stevens, who was accused of starting the February 6 bushfire using an angle grinder, said her client was not in a position to comment on the compensation bid. Robyn Lewis, whose mother and stepfather - June and Harry Fraser - lost their Kelmscott home of 16 years and possessions in the blaze, said the bid was not about revenge.

"If somebody is culpable in some way or another it is worth at least exploring that," she said.

Ms Lewis said her mother and stepfather were 79 and 89.

"How long have they got to rebuild their lives? We are seven months on but it's still really, really devastating," she said. "My parents have been reduced to living in my sister's loungeroom."

The West Australian

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