Smoke alarm wakes man during fierce fire

BURNT OUT: Fire spread from a wood heater at this home, causing the property to catch on fire on Monday morning. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS
BURNT OUT: Fire spread from a wood heater at this home, causing the property to catch on fire on Monday morning. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

A MAN has managed to flee his burning home after being woken by a smoke alarm.

A blaze started inside the Myrtleford property about 1am on Monday.

The resident ran from the Lawrence Street house, which was completely engulfed by flames by the time firefighters arrived.

CFA member Graham Neil said several brigades had responded from Myrtleford, Gapsted, Ovens, Eurobin and more.

There was little that could be done to stop the flames.

“The house was totally involved on arrival,” he said.

“There was a reasonable amount of damage.”

CFA members completed a report of the fire and believe it was caused by a wood heater.

“I think there may have been a malfunction on the latch that held the door closed,” Mr Neil said.

“I think people need to be aware of how much wood they put in the fire, and make sure they’re aware that the doors are opening the way they should.

“The doors should seal properly and close properly.”

Mr Neil said there were no issues with using wood heaters at night as long as they were working properly.

The wood home and its contents were extensively damaged.

The exterior, particularly around the roof, was visibly burnt.

The heat was intense enough to discolour the steel roof and melt draining pipes.

“It’s not suspicious,” Mr Neil said. 

“We generally ask people to be aware of fire. 

“I’d say people need to understand what they’re dealing with.” 

The man did not require any treatment for smoke inhalation. 

Mr Neil said the resident had done the right thing by having a working smoke alarm installed. 

The fire was declared under control after about an hour-and-a-half. 

It was declared safe about 4am. 

Firefighters investigated the damage later in the morning. 

It followed a fire at a house on Lewis Avenue last month. 

The occupants managed to leave the single-storey brick home without injury. 

Firefighters also responded to a serious fire that gutted a house in the nearby town of Ovens on July 17. 

The fire left little more than a chimney and small sections of the frame standing. 

Greg Clifford, who lives near the Selzers Lane home, at the time told The Border Mail there had been multiple explosions. 

“It was a scary feeling – the wind was getting up and flames were going as high as the gum trees,” he said. 

It was unclear if the home involved in Monday’s fire was insured.