Bushfire victim died trying to save home, animals
A TINY town in Northern NSW has been destroyed and two much-loved locals killed in a bushfire that has left many homeless.
Vivian Chaplain was at her Wytaliba property just outside of Glen Innes on Friday night when flames tore through the town.
She called her daughter-in-law, Chrystal Harwood, panicked and asking for her son and his father to help her fight to flames.
"They tried to get down there to see my mother-in-law but no one could get through," Ms Harwood said through tears on Saturday.
"We called the Rural Fire Service but they couldn't get through either. We rang a friend who was in Wytaliba and he pushed through the fire to get to her."
The rescuer found 69-year-old Ms Chaplain unconscious and suffering burns to at least 40 per cent of her body near her shed.
Picking her up, the friend carried Ms Chaplain to his ute and drove through the flames again.
He met RFS crews at the access bridge, which was on fire, into the village.
Ms Harwood said firefighters put Ms Chaplain on a stretcher and carried her on foot to safety.
Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said Tasmanian fire fighters, deployed to NSW to help with the bushfire emergency, performed CPR and first aid on the victim for "several hours".
She was eventually flown to Concord Hospital and died overnight.
Mrs Harwood paid tribute to her "amazing and strong" mother-in-law, who moved to Wytaliba to live a sustainable life on her "own little piece of land".
"She was amazingly strong and very stubborn," she said.
"We all knew she would have stood there with a hose trying to fight it and trying to save the animals."
Another local, a man, was found dead in his burnt out car near Wytaliba on Saturday morning.
Chilling video posted on social media shows homes on fire and scenes of orange and smoke engulfing front yards.
One woman posted of watching the school and bridge burn down while her husband tried to save their elderly neighbour.
"We were escorted to town by police with a convoy of cars behind us," she wrote on Facebook.
"I am fragile I am processing. My home is gone."
Many properties in the small, tight-knit community have been destroyed or damaged, including the local school and firefighters are still battling the blaze around it.
"We know people who have walked away from their home and watched it burn," Mrs Harwood said.
"They have walked away with only the clothes on their backs.
"There are quite a few people who are doing everything they can and putting their lives at risk to save other people and their homes."
Glen Innes Severn mayor Carol Sparkes lives in Wytaliba and lost her home in the fire.
An evacuation centre has been set up at the Glen Innes Showground for residents affected by the blaze.