Dalton community pays tribute to David Brown

Dalton man David Brown (rear) lost his life in a house fire on Monday morning. He is pictured here with children Sarah and Jake and his late wife. Photo supplied.
Dalton man David Brown (rear) lost his life in a house fire on Monday morning. He is pictured here with children Sarah and Jake and his late wife. Photo supplied.

The Dalton community is mourning the loss of a "kind hearted, loved and hard working" shearer.

These were just a few of the words from friends to describe David Brown, affectionately known as 'Browny', who sadly passed away in a house fire on his Jerrawa Road property on Monday morning.

A Dalton merino stud owner, David Holgate, said he knew Mr Brown his whole life and that news of his death came as a "big shock".

"Both of our parents and grandparents lived in the area and we went to Dalton Public School together," Mr Holgate said.

"We did a lot of shearing together.

"There wouldn't be a lot of people in the district who David wouldn't have shorn or spread fertiliser for."

Mr Brown was very well liked and a hard worker, Mr Holgate said.

He was a shearer and ran a fertiliser business.

"He would do anything for anyone," Mr Holgate said.

"He had his health battles but he kept going."

Mr Brown had been battling terminal cancer for the past few years, according to a Go Fund Me page created to support his two youngest children through this difficult time.

He was also a bush mechanic, builder and welder.

"There wasn't much he couldn't do," he said.

"He went all over the place fishing. They'd go up to Mudgee and down to Victoria. Anywhere they were biting, he'd go."

Mr Brown and the family's two dogs, Louie and Ty, were also lost in the fire, according to the Go Fund Me page.

"He always had a little dog go around shearing with him," Mr Holgate said.

Mr Holgate said Mr Brown's funeral would be well-attended.

"There will be a lot of people there, my word."

Tom Dowling of Yass knew Mr Brown personally and said he was "a beautiful man."

A friend of the family, Vince Heffernan, mirrored that description, saying Mr Brown was "well known and loved".

Mr Heffernan believed his friend was a sixth generation farmer.

"He had wool sheep but more recently cattle and meat sheep," Mr Heffernan said.

A fundraiser has been created for Mr Brown's two youngest children Sarah, 22 and Jake, 19, whose mother also died from motor neurone disease three years ago.

Mr Heffernan employs Jake. He said the two children lost everything on Monday.

If you would like to make a contribution to Sarah and Jake, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/family-without-home-or-parents

Mr Brown is also survived by his daughters, Dani and Jodie, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mulwaree Bradfordville Kenmore United Soccer Club, for which Mr Brown's granddaughter plays, said it was saddened to hear of the tragic event.

It has asked teams playing in Gunning this Saturday to wear black arm bands to show respect to the Brown family. There will also be a minute silence before each game and the club will be taking donations.

Meantime, investigations are still continuing into the fire which broke out in the family home, 3km southwest of Dalton on Monday morning. Emergency services were altered at 8.50am.

RFS operations officer Daniel Osborne said 20 personnel had fought the fire, including brigades from Upper Lachlan, Gunning, Crookwell, Broadway and Dalton, plus Fire and Rescue NSW. A bulk water carrier was also onsite, with water resources low in the area due to the drought.

The house was destroyed but several surrounding sheds and trees were spared. No one was transferred to hospital, but paramedics remained on standby throughout the firefighting effort.

The blaze was not believed to be suspicious, but a crime scene investigation unit from Wagga Wagga was sent to investigate. Inspector Hinton said the investigation would take "weeks, [but] not months".

Mr Brown's death will be referred to the NSW Coroner.