Esperance bushfire victim's sister says he was "living the dream"

​Tom Butcher's older sister said he was "living the dream" in Esperance and was planning to buy a house and settle down before his life was tragically cut short by a bushfire.

Jess Greenaway, who lives in Queensland, told WAtoday the 31-year-old's death had devastated and shocked his family, but they drew comfort from the fact he was doing what he always wanted to do.

"I spoke to him on Friday evening and his last words to me were "I'm living the dream mate, I'm living the dream"," she said.

Mrs Greenaway described her brother as an easy-going person who loved his family and left a lasting impression on everyone he met.

"Tom had a heart of gold and he would do anything for anyone.

"Everybody loved him – he was so chilled out and every time you ran in to him he would ask how you were going.

"My phone has not stopped ringing since we got the tragic news," she said.

She said her brother's kind-hearted ways were reflected in his last moments which he spent trying to save his beloved horse from the fires.

Briton Tom Butcher along with Norwegian Anna Winther and a Julia, a 19-year-old woman from Germany, were working at Karranga Station in Scadden, north of Esperance, when the fires hit.

The trio was found dead in their car several kilometres from the property after being caught by the rapidly moving firestorm as they tried to escape the flames on Wednesday morning.

Mrs Greenaway said words couldn't begin describe how she was feeling after having lost her brother, however she knew if Tom were in her position he would be staying strong.

 "He would be doing what needed to be done."

She said when Tom first came to Australia he quickly fell in love with the country.

"He came across to see me for holiday and loved it so much that as soon as he got home he told everyone he was coming back.

"He found a sponsorship and hasn't looked back."

Tom had been living in Australia for more than four years before his death and had spent the last 12 months in Esperance.

Touching tributes have poured in on social media for Tom including an emotional one from his girlfriend Leila Vadnjal.

"The day I met you I told you that we were soulmates; your reply was sticking your finger up my nose then putting it in my mouth!!," the post started.

"You knew it as well. You were my life.

"Although I am feeling lost I have so many memories that we shared together. The love and the laughter. I will remember and cherish our last kiss and touch and the way you would tell me "in a bit" as your way of saying bye.

"I can smell you in my bed, your towel still hangs in the "wrong spot". Your chair is still not pushed in from Sunday and I have all the drawings still sitting there.

"My love for you will stay strong for my life. Have fun with Coug [the horse Tom was trying to save] in heaven and I will take care of our Bubba girl [another horse]. I've told her the news and it was felt heavily.

"We will go for a ride for you and Cougs.

"I love you, I miss you, I need you and I want you."

Another friend wrote: "Tom was the best, a caring, funny bloke who was always there for us. Tom Butcher, taken too soon from everyone who was lucky enough to have met him. XXXX"

Mrs Greenaway said Tom was trying to get his citizenship and had planned to head to Perth next week to sit an English test as part of this process.

"Tom loved it here - Australia was his home.

"He was looking to settle down and was looking around at properties to buy a place of his own.

"He recently bought some sheep, which he was breeding, and it was only after he lost all them to the fires that he decided to get out; and he wanted to ensure his horse got out as well," she said.

She said Tom loved the ocean and one of the first things he did after arriving in Esperance was post a photo of himself at the beach.

Mrs Greenaway said she will be in WA next week for Tom's funeral where they planned to honour his free spirit and help him continue to "live the dream".

"We will let his ashes go on the beach in Esperance, so Tom can ride the waves where he loved to be with his horse," she said.

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