Wodonga home gutted in suspicious fire

A fire that all but destroyed a Wodonga home yesterday is being treated as suspicious

Three-quarters of the De Kerilleau Drive home belonging to a mother and her two children had gone up in flames before Wodonga firefighters arrived at the scene around 1pm.

Two trucks with 10 firefighters fought the blaze, controlling it in about five minutes.

Neighbours gathered around the house watching on in surprise as flames licked the brick home and black smoke billowed into the sky.

One neighbour, James McAnanly, told of his efforts to save the house next door.

“Me and the wife were sitting inside and we could smell smoke coming through the cooling system,” he said.

“We raced outside into the backyard.

“It was a pretty toxic smell.”

When he realised the house next door was also about to go up, Mr McAnanly knocked on the door to warn the occupants.

A teenage girl answered the door and he rushed through to the garden where he used a hose to douse the flames coming over the fence.

“I helped save their house,” Mr McAnanly said.

“It was all coming into their house.”

CFA investigators, Wodonga detectives and a Victoria Police chemist from Melbourne last night scoured the scene.

A CFA spokeswoman said the fire was being treated as suspicious.

No one was injured in the incident, with the mother and her daughter away in Sydney and her son arriving home afterwards.

Wodonga CFA station officer Chris Daniels said he was unable to tell what rooms had been destroyed as they were unidentifiable.

“It was fully involved when we got here,” he said.

“We managed to save a quarter of the house.”

A Baranduda CFA truck rolled on Anzac Parade on its way to fight the blaze.

CFA district officer John Bigham said the vehicle lost control on a roundabout near the Blazing Stump Motel.

One of the firefighters was transferred to Albury hospital for observation.

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