View Comments
Man burned in storm house fire
The South Western Highway was blocked near Walpole yesterday. Picture: Ian Dalton

An Esperance man sustained burns to his head and hands as his house burnt down during a storm late yesterday.

About 5.30pm, volunteer firefighters were called to a property on Telegraph Road at Monjingup, about 20km north-west of Esperance.

They arrived to find the house burnt to the ground and the family car destroyed.

A police spokesman said the family had lost power to their house during the storm and decided to use gas lanterns.

A malfunction with one of the lanterns had then started the fire which took hold and destroyed their home.

He said the man's burns were not life-threatening but his wife drove him to Esperance Hospital for treatment.

Firefighters estimated damage at more than $300,000.

The deep low, which unleashed its fury on much of the State's south late Tuesday and yesterday, is now moving steadily into the Great Australian Bight.

Yesterday a cyclist was knocked unconscious and left with severe facial injuries after hitting a storm-damaged tree branch on a pre-dawn ride in Como.

Wind gusts of up to 95km/h were recorded in Swanbourne about 9.30pm on Tuesday night while Rottnest Island was battered by 109km/h an hour earlier.

Other casualties included a 73-year-old French yachtsman who survived a harrowing ordeal when his boat struck trouble near Alkimos reef.

Denis Pallas and his dog were on the 11.6m yacht headed for Carnarvon when its sails were shredded. It lost power and his anchor failed to hold, forcing him to make a mayday call about 6.45pm on Tuesday.

Mr Pallas and his boat washed up on the beach and two Whitfords Sea Rescue volunteers found him cold and wet on Pipidinny Road carrying a life jacket about 10.45pm.

Across the State more than 150 State Emergency Service volunteers worked on storm-damaged properties yesterday.

A Wanneroo home may have to be demolished after several branches from a Moreton Bay fig tree smashed its roof while the tenant was at home.

South West road users had to find alternative routes after fallen trees blocked Vasse Highway between Pemberton and Nannup and South Western Highway between Shannon and Walpole for several hours.

Electricity has been restored to all but 200 houses, according to Western Power.

If your home has been badly damaged by storm call the SES on 132 500,