Harness racing “legend” Dick White has died in a house fire north of Adelaide.
- Firefighters were called to the blaze about 2:45am
- They found the body of prominent harness racing figure Dick White inside the destroyed property
- The incident is not being treated as suspicious, however the cause is still unknown
Police and the Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) were called to the blaze on Port Wakefield Road in Globe Derby Park about 2:45am.
The MFS, along with Country Fire Service (CFS) volunteers, put out the fire.
White’s body was located in a bedroom in the house.
A family member confirmed the 85-year-old died in the fire.
The Legends Trotters Handicap races at the Globe Derby Park harness racing track is named after White and fellow trainer Marcus Hearl.
Harness Racing SA chief executive Ross Neal said White was prominent in the sport from the 1970s to the 1990s.
“He has helped a lot of people progress through the industry,” he said.
“He was a hard man but an excellent man with a horse.”
White was also a rodeo rider in his youth.
The red brick building was entirely gutted, the roof collapsed, windows and doors destroyed and smoke was still wafting into the sky after dawn.
Fire Cause and Crime Scene investigators attended the scene and said the incident was not being treated as suspicious, however the cause is still unknown.
The damage bill was estimated at $120,000.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
Second fatal fire in a week
Just three days ago, a man died in a fire also north of Adelaide.
Fire crews were called to his burning house at Two Wells on Saturday night.
The body of a 71-year old man was found inside after the fire had been put out.
Police believe that fire was accidental.
CFS regional duty officer Scott Haynes was at both fires.
He said structure fires were more common in cooler months as people started heating their houses more regularly.
“A working smoke detector in the house is obviously the main step that people can take to ensure their safety,” he said.
“Those smoke detectors should be checked regularly and the batteries changed at least once a year.”