The Oscar winner, who owns a palatial 320-hectare property in Nana Glen, west of Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast, confirmed the news on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
“Fire hit my place late in the day yesterday. My heart goes out to everyone in the valley,” he wrote.
“I’m not in Australia. My family are safe, billeted with friends.”
Russell’s neighbourhood divided
But instead of banding together amid the worsening crisis, one angry local woman suggested emergency fire services gave the star’s home preferential treatment while battling the blaze – despite the NSW Rural Fire Service saying that wasn’t possible.
I’m not in Australia.
My family are safe, billeted with friends.
Fire hit my place late in the day yesterday.
My heart goes out to everyone in the valley. pic.twitter.com/EsLKtDQM51
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) November 12, 2019
“I'm angry because our friends’ house is there burning and all the trucks go to Russell Crowe's,” the neighbour told Seven News.
“What about normal, everyday people?”
But despite the mammoth allegation, NSW Rural Fire Service were quick to set the record straight, and told Daily Mail that they would have had no idea who owned the house.
“Firefighters are not aware of whose homes they are being sent to – aerial crews wouldn’t be aware of whose property they are going to either,” a spokesperson told the publication.
“Crews are dispatched on priority of jobs and the properties that need it the most, we are not aware of who owns the properties.”
Firefighters have been working through catastrophic conditions to protect lives and keep bushfires across NSW away from homes.
Hundreds of new fires across the state’s north resulted in ‘catastrophic’ conditions on Tuesday but authorities have warned the threat is not over as a southerly wind change begins to sweep.
More than a million hectares of land has been consumed by bushfires that damaged or destroyed 12 more homes.
A number of firefighters were injured, but none are in a life-threatening condition, and there were no people missing as of Tuesday night, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.
The bushfires, which first hit hard on Friday, have claimed three lives and destroyed at least 150 homes so far.
Earlier this year, Russell Crowe made headlines for offering family friend Bindi Irwin his sprawling estate to use for her upcoming wedding to Chandler Powell.
“He has a chapel there, and he would be so proud for it to be the place Bindi marries Chandler,” a source told Woman’s Day.
“He loves Bindi like a daughter.”
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