Neighbours out in heat as fires strike two homes

A laundry and a shed were destroyed in two Albury house fires early yesterday morning.

Neighbours at the first fire piled out of their houses at 1.30am to watch as firefighters fought a blaze at a Kestrel Street NSW Department of Housing home.

Its occupants, a mother, her daughter and grandson are believed to have been on their way to Bathurst at the time.

Albury NSW Fire and Rescue station officer David Herbert said the fire ignited in the laundry then spread to the home’s rear before about 12 firefighters contained the flames.

Albury police said the cause was yet to be determined, but the fire was not being treated as suspicious.

Neighbour Beverly Gardner, who lives directly across from the fibro house, said firefighters had it under control quickly.

“I woke by the sound of the flashing lights and then we all came out and could see flames shooting out of the roof,” she said.

“We never felt under threat; we could smell the smoke from here and that was all.”

The elderly neighbour directly next door, Valerie Clark, who first moved into her house 61 years ago, said she wasn’t frightened when evacuated by police.

“I said to them, ‘what about my cat?’” she said.

Albury firefighters were then called out to a second fire at 4.15am in the shed of an unoccupied brick house in David Street.

It took up to eight firefighters under 15 minutes to contain the blaze.

Albury police haven’t said whether it was being treated as suspicious or not, but the cause was under investigation.

The fire, which destroyed the shed, only just touched the corner of the house resulting in flaking paint.

A neighbour, who didn’t wish to be named, said she raced outside when she heard a loud bang.

“There was a huge blaze — it was really quite large,” she said.

“It was so scary.”

Police have urged anyone with information to contact Albury police on 02 6023 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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