The man critically injured in a distillery fire south of Launceston on Tuesday has been identified as prominent Tasmanian golfer Greg Longmore. Mr Longmore was mixing ingredients to make gin at Adams Distillery in Perth when a fire broke out, leaving him with severe burns to his face, hands and legs.
The amateur golfer and former state captain was flown to the Royal Hobart Hospital, where he remains in a critical condition. His sister, Samantha Walmsley, has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to support his family.
The GoFundMe appeal says Mr Longmore is in an induced coma and will require “several operations and skin grafts”.
“As they are a young family, keeping Greg’s girls looked after will ease the stresses allowing [wife] Erin to focus on being there for Greg to come home,” the appeal says. So far, it has raised about $17,000.
Ms Walmsley said the last 24 hours had been emotional for the family and they were “overwhelmed” by the support.
“Most of Greg’s family is in Victoria and his wife and kids are in Tasmania with him, so with COVID and not being able to travel as much as we can, it’s been pretty tough,” she said. “The whole family is overwhelmed with the support and the donations from the community.
The fire, which caused an estimated $2 million in damage, has been deemed accidental by Tasmania Fire Service. The fire service’s district officer of operations, Mark Ciantar, said yesterday the worker had suffered partial and full-thickness burns to his hands, face and legs while he was “mixing product” using “flammable liquids” in a gin distillery area of the facility about 10:20am.
“The most concentrated part of the burns are to his lower legs, then to his hands and a little bit to his face,” he said. Mr Ciantar praised the staff at the distillery, who found Mr Longmore “on the lawn outside” following the incident.
He also praised distillery co-owner Adam Pinkard who is a paramedic, and helped his colleague before emergency services arrived. Mr Pinkard said Mr Longmore had only started working at the business full time three weeks ago.
“He was fairly new,” he said. “He’d been here a fairly short amount of time, but he had been a subcontractor for other things at the distillery. But he recently had decided to come on full time.
“We’ll do everything we can to support Greg and his family. “It still seems very surreal.”
Mr Pinkard said his colleagues had some idea of what caused the blaze but would wait until the investigation was completed. The accident will be investigated by Worksafe Tasmania.
Source: ABC News