Wodonga neighbours rush to the rescue

NEIGHBOURS to a Wodonga house that caught fire yesterday sprang into action.

Their prompt response saved a car and the fire from spreading.

The owner, who had left the house just hours before fire broke out, was renovating the home.

Some neighbours in Spring Avenue, near Thomas Mitchell Drive, noticed black smoke billowing from the house across the road at 2.45pm.

A teenager asked his mother “Who’s on fire?” when a notification for his street on the CFA FireReady phone app popped up.

One neighbour phoned triple-0 while another, who was safe-keeping the owner’s spare car keys, drove the car from the driveway, shut the windows and turned off the power.

The neighbours’ action helped to stop the fire spreading to other properties.

“Next time it could be our place and he’s a good bloke,” neighbour Damian Porter said.

Wodonga firefighters had to force their way into the home.

Sen-Constable Mark Paynter said a gas heater could have started the blaze.

He said the fire had not started in suspicious circumstances and investigations would be handled by firefighters.

He said the lounge room of the house suffered the most damage.

Wodonga CFA second lieutenant Gerard Peeters said a firm cause was yet to be determined.

Mr Peeters said the best thing for neighbours to do if they saw a fire at a house in their street was to phone triple-0.

“It’s just better to call us in the first instance, certainly don’t put yourself in any danger, that’s the main thing,” he said.

Two Wodonga CFA trucks responded.

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