PROMINENT Daylesford interior designer Stuart Rattle has died in a fire which consumed his Melbourne apartment and office early yesterday.
Emergency services were called to the scene in South Yarra just after midnight yesterday and found Mr Rattle’s body located in the burnt-out building.
Mr Rattle, aged in his 50s, was well-known in the Daylesford area for the beautiful English gardens of his 35-hectare property, Musk Farm, formerly an old school house.
He recently opened up Musk Farm to the public to raise funds for the restoration of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens in Daylesford.
Friends of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens posted a message on its website yesterday paying tribute to Mr Rattle.
“It is with the greatest sadness that we express our sympathy to the family and friends of Stuart Rattle on the passing of this wonderfully generous member of our community. We feel especially for his partner, Michael O’Neill,” the message said.
“His creativity and personal warmth were exceptional and his loss will be felt keenly by us all.”
Those who knew Mr Rattle paid their respects on social media last night.
On Facebook, Kim Andrews said Mr Rattle would “always be a giant in the history of people who make things, who create value and beauty in society”.
Donna Thornycroft said Mr Rattle was a beautiful, talented and generous man.
“My heart hurts, rest in peace Stuart x,” she posted on Mr Rattle’s Facebook page.
On Twitter, Chin Chin restaurateur Chris Lucas said: “R.I.P Stuart Rattle a tragic loss”.
Sam King tweeted: “Vale Stuart Rattle, the world is a poorer place without you. Thank you for your inspiring design, charm, humour and kindness”.
Farewell to Stuart Rattle, such a generous and life-loving man. Heartfelt sympathies to Michael for the tragic loss.— Stephanie Alexander (@GrowCookEat) December 9, 2013
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and will prepare a report for the coroner. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.