Aussie icon gone--Conargo Pub

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 09:16
ThreadID: 110129 Views:3054 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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For those who haven't seen this the infamous Conargo Pub has gone up in flames.

Conargo Pub
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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 11:04

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 11:04
Not a case of "Jewish lightning", I trust? Arson squad detectives will be on the spot, no doubt, sniffing around to see what they can find.
Quite a number of W.A.'s historic hotels burnt to the ground, and nearly every one of them was suspected arson.
It's funny how it always happened right as business was getting worse and worse.

The Kwolyin Hotel was a classic. The main highway bypassed the main street of Kwolyin in the 1960's - and coupled with rural decline and depopulation, the Kwolyin Hotel was struggling to survive.
It burnt down in 1992 in suspicious circumstances. The owners brought attention to themselves after making an insurance claim for a cash payout.

The insurance company declined the cash payout, and offered to just rebuild it (as they are entitled to do).
However, the owners requested that the insurance company rebuild the Hotel out on the main highway - which request was also declined. So the owners ended up with nothing.

The Police did a "cold case review" in 2011 and found additional evidence that enabled them to charge a man and woman with arson relating to the Kwolyin Hotel - fully 20 yrs after the event!
There's a statutory limit of 6 yrs on most things - but do something seriously wrong, and the Police never stop looking for you!

Pair charged over pub fire

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 541615

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 13:32

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 13:32

"It's funny how it always happened right as business was getting worse and worse."

In fact, business got even worse from right after the fire! LOL

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 13:52

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 13:52
Allan, there was only one building left in Yelbeni - the general store, servo, newsagent, and adjoining house for the owner.
The whole lot went up in flames on 3rd April 2007 - and now there's absolutely nothing left of Yelbeni town!

I'd have to guess the Yelbeni store fire was a genuine accident, as it happened in the middle of the day.
It's when "mysterious" fires happen in the dead of night - when there's a poor chance of getting the fire brigade on the scene quickly, that it raises much suspicion!

Yelbeni store burns to the ground

My house in a small wheatbelt town burnt down in 1982. It was caused by an electrical fault - whereby the 3 phase wires along the road crossed up in strong gusty winds - and this fed 90V into the neutral wire!
The resultant 330V going through the house, melted my little bedside clock, this set fire to the curtains, and the rest was history!

It was the Queens Birthday holiday, I was out working, no-one was home - but my workshop leading hand mechanic was the local fire captain, and spotted the flames from his house about a kilometre away.
He got the fire truck and crew there in 8 minutes, but it was too late, weatherboard houses go up like tinderboxes!

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 827767

Follow Up By: BunderDog - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 14:05

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 14:05
Just wondering Ron if there is anything or anyplace you haven't done or lived.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 15:11

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 15:11
There is now a very nice Rest Area at Kwolyin. Recently opened to take the pressure off Kokerbin Rock.

Kwolyin Rest Area
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
- Augustus McCrae (Lonesome Dove)

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Follow Up By: Rob J8 - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 19:47

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 19:47
Been a few out that way Ron, Kununoppin, Trayning, Doodlakine all went up a few years ago.
Bloody lightning strikes
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Follow Up By: gbc - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 21:30

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 21:30
6 year statute of limitation is for bringing a civil suit. Criminal suits have no sunset.
FollowupID: 827839

Reply By: BunderDog - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 11:24

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 11:24
Conargo Pub boasted the second highest in Bundy Rum sales in NSW. The amount of Bundy that went though that place was incredible
AnswerID: 541617

Reply By: wombat100 - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 15:12

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 15:12
Gee, I wonder where all the 'ute boys' are going to get their stickers now ??

AnswerID: 541621

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 17:00

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 17:00
Old Pub, old wiring, nothing suspicious about that! Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

Somewhere you want to explore ? There is no time like the present.

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Follow Up By: dazza62 - Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 21:50

Thursday, Nov 13, 2014 at 21:50
100% agree here having owned a similar Hotel built in the late 1800's. Perhaps before we accuse Owners of starting fires we should wait for the facts.
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Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 06:39

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 06:39
Yes, I am with you Michael & Dazza. Not only was this old pub a Local Icon, but it was the social hub of this small country community. Historic photos & memorabilia lined the walls, all non replaceable. The publican lived in the rear section & has lost all belongings. I am amazed at the comments & insinuations in the first rely. I am sure things will be up & running again shortly. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pub was temporally operating out of a tent or shed within a week or two.

FollowupID: 827801

Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 16:05

Friday, Nov 14, 2014 at 16:05
I did nothing wrong when my house burnt down - but I can tell you, the police treat you like you did it on purpose, until you can prove otherwise.

The local copper grilled me for a lengthy period about my finances (I just happened to be in deep doo-doo, too, at the time, due to the effects of drought) - how much the house was insured for (bugger-all, when it came to the crunch, I think I got $8000) - and whether I'd made any previous fire claims (none, fortunately).
Then came the questioning about relationships, any drug use, social problems, and so on.
The Police are thorough, they treat all fires with great gravity and treat them as arson until they're reasonably satisfied they're not, or until there's no hope of proving the fires origin.

It was only the State Electricity Commission inspector that saved me from an Arson Squad investigation, when he found 90V in the neutral wire the day after the fire.
The SEC investigation started because the firies pulled all the house fuses and started to pull iron sheeting off the roof - and they got lots of electric sparks!
The neutral wire has no fuse in it, so there's no way of cutting off any power in the neutral wire unless you chop the wire with wire cutters.

The established figures for building and property arson in NSW are;

Established arson - 4%
Considered arson - 13%
Suspicious fires - 30%
Undetermined - 19%
Non-suspicious - 34%

Note the huge percentage (66%) where the cause can't even be established.
Arson is big business and a growing business - if better methods could be introduced to determine fire causes and identify arson, then our insurance premiums would halve.

I feel deeply for the owner of the Conargo pub if the loss truly is accidental - the loss of personal items, photos and memorabilia is awful. You never recover from it.
I lost virtually everything but the clothes I was wearing in my house fire, it makes you very aware of the need to protect vital, irreplaceable items from fire.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 827829

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