The NSW Rural Fire Service has categorically denied a neighbour’s claim that they gave preferential treatment to a house owned by Russell Crowe while battling blazes in the state’s north.

The actor owns a 4oo-hectare property in Nana Glen, west of Coffs Harbour. The area was declared an emergency zone yesterday, with fires burning out of control and residents urged to leave.

A local resident named Debbie Waldon spoke to Seven News overnight, and claimed that firefighters prioritised Crowe’s house over others in the area. In tears, she said:

“I’m angry because our friends’ house is there burning and all the trucks go to Russell Crowe’s. What about normal, everyday people?”

The Rural Fire Service has since rubbished this claim, telling The Daily Mail that there was no special consideration given to anybody, and that it would be hard to even do so:

“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. Crews are dispatched on priority of jobs and the properties that need it the most, we are not aware of who owns the properties.”

Russell Crowe himself is out of the country, but took to Twitter to say that his family is safe and sound and staying with friends.

Earlier today, he Tweeted an update, saying that a couple of buildings were lost, but there have been no livestock deaths, and his chickens are back to roaming the property.

Image: Getty Images / Lev Radin