A FIRE at an Albury home was an accident waiting to happen, one neighbour said yesterday.
Veljko Ljubojevic was half an hour away from his Wilson Street home yesterday when he got a call at 11.40am telling him his house was on fire.
“I just came home straight away to put it out but it was already done,” he said.
Mr Ljubojevic said the fire was nothing to panic about.
“It’s just a burnt mattress and door and a bit of smoke damage,” he said.
A neighbour was sitting at the back of her house when she noticed black smoke surrounding the chimney of Mr Ljubojevic’s home.
“I was wondering what was going on,” she said.
As more smoke emerged she approached the house to check through the windows for flames.
“I couldn’t see any flames but another neighbour came out and we both figured there was something going on,” she said.
Another neighbour knocked on the door but with one of his cars missing they figured Mr Ljubojevic was out.
The neighbour said Mr Ljubojevic had a wood fire they believed he left burning when not at home.
“I think this was always an accident waiting to happen,” she said.
But Mr Ljubojevic said he suspected the fire may have started from an electrical fault.
“The switches are old and have a wooden backing,” he said.
“I’ve been using the fireplace for 40 years and I have never had an issue, and I know how to secure them.”
Albury Central station officer Dean Campbell said firefighters managed to contain the fire to the front bedroom.
“Luckily none of the neighbours opened any doors or smashed windows because then the fire would have just gone up and possibly destroyed the whole house,” he said.
Mr Campbell said the home was not fitted with a smoke alarm and he wanted to remind everyone of the importance of having one installed.
“Everyone needs to have a smoke alarm,” he said.
“It’s for their safety.”
Mr Campbell said they were looking into the cause of the blaze and had not yet ruled out the open fire.