The world’s most popular teacher, a man with no children
An Australian teacher who taught with children with special needs has died aged 84.
A teacher’s aide and his wife, who worked in a nursing home, were also killed in the blaze.
The NSW Government confirmed that two of its staff members were among the dead.
Professor Paul Geddes was a father of two and the president of the National Association of Teachers in NSW.
He was described by his family as a gentle man who cared deeply about his students.
He was a mentor to young people with special requirements and had a “strong and caring personality”, his family said in a statement.
The NSW Rural Fire Service said the fire was under control but firefighters were battling a massive bushfire that had destroyed thousands of hectares.
More than 1,500 firefighters from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia battled the blaze on Thursday.
Flames have also raged in the Northern Territory, which is home to about 1.3 million people.
Firefighters are battling a raging fire that engulfed a large portion of the small town of Mabbutt, in the state’s north.
“It’s a bit like a slow burn,” said John Kwan, an assistant fire brigade commander in the remote town of Matawee, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) north-east of Mombasa.
A number of houses in the area were destroyed, including a house belonging to Mr Gedds.
Mr Gedd’s wife, Anne, who died in the fire, is the only surviving member of the couple’s family.
Their daughter, Barbara, is studying to become a nurse, and the family has also set up a fund for her education.
Mabbutt has a population of about 6,000 people and about 300 families are on evacuation notices due to the bushfire, according to the NT Government.
There are around 600 firefighters battling the blaze, which has been burning for two days.
In February last year, a nurse was killed and her husband and their three children died in a bushfire in the same area.
On Thursday, fire fighters battled a fire at a farmhouse in the town of Tarra.
At least 12 people were killed and at least 18 were injured in the nearby Tarra village.
Numerous homes in Tarra and the surrounding bushfire area were damaged by the blaze and residents were evacuated to nearby villages on Thursday night.
Police are currently investigating the cause of the fire.