Kym Brett Curnow, Thomas Leslie Butcher, Anna Sashohova Winther and Julia Kohrs-Lichte were killed in the Esperance fires. Photo: Supplied
The Esperance fires are subsiding and the south coast community will slowly begin to rebuild.
However, they will never forget the four people who died in the bushfires, performing selfless acts.
Local farmer Kym Brett Curnow was driving was driving door-to-door trying to warn his neighbours to evacuate their homes when he got trapped in the blaze and was killed
Shortly before his death he had stopped in at Karranga Station in Scaddan, a farm where three backpackers Briton Thomas Leslie Butcher, German Anna Sashohova Winther and Norwegian Julia Kohrs-Lichte were working.
The three were found dead a few kilometres from the property after attempting to save a horse. The truck they were using to tow the horse float rolled, trapping them inside.
Kym Brett Curnow
Esperance farmer Kym Curnow was driving door-to-door trying to warn his neighbours to evacuate their homes when he got trapped in the blaze.
Mr Curnow – affectionately known as Freddy- was a man who was always willing to help others and has been described as a “magnificent icon in the community“.
Esperance Shire councillor Paul Griffiths said the 45-year-old father of three was an important part of the community and someone who was always willing to help others any way he could.
“He was always helping people,” Mr Griffiths said.
Mr Griffiths said Mr Curnow was a huge part of the local football community, having played for Gibson Football Club for many yearsm and was still donning the boots each week, despite being in his mid-forties.
“He was just a leader in the footy club,” he said.
“He said he was always helping his football club, never had any issues and was always jovial.
Thomas Leslie Butcher
Briton Tom Butcher’s older sister Jess Greenaway said his family was “devastated” the 31-year-old had perished in the fire, however, they drew comfort from the fact he was “doing what he always wanted to do”.
“I spoke to him on Friday evening and his last words to me were “I’m living the dream mate, I’m living the dream”,” she said.
Mrs Greenaway described her brother as an easy-going person who loved his family and left a lasting impression on everyone he met.
“Tom had a heart of gold and he would do anything for anyone.”
“My phone has not stopped ringing since we got the tragic news,” she said.
Ms Butcher’s girlfriend Leila Vadnjal also posted a touching tribute to him on social media.
“The day I met you I told you that we were soulmates; your reply was sticking your finger up my nose then putting it in my mouth!!,” the post read.
“You knew it as well. You were my life.
“Although I am feeling lost I have so many memories that we shared together. The love and the laughter. I will remember and cherish our last kiss and touch and the way you would tell me “in a bit” as your way of saying bye.”
Anna Sashohova Winther
Norwegian Anna Winther was working as a cook at the Karranga Station in Scaddan and had moved into the Esperance area in early October.
The 29-year-old, who had been living in WA for the past four years, graduated from Curtin University in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She went on to complete a Masters in Human Rights which she finished in 2014.
German backpacker Julia Kohrs-Lichte was from a village called Rebenstorf in Lower Saxony and had only recently moved to the Karranga Station to work as a farmhand.
The 19-year-old had only graduated from her high school Gymnasium Lüchow this year and had set off on a journey of a lifetime.
The rugged south coast and the undulating heathlands of Esperance were a world away from the street village life of her home town.