A FAMILY had to flee their smoke-filled Albury home after a fire caused $40,000 in damage.
Albury Civic Fire Station deputy captain Peter Ryan said a boat in a carport at a home in Borella Road caught fire in the early hours of Saturday.
He said it burnt through the air-conditioning unit outside the house and smoke filled the home.
“A couple and their three children evacuated themselves and went next door,” Mr Ryan said.
“They were very fortunate.”
Police were called to the home at 1.50am.
Officers estimated up to $40,000 in damage was caused.
They said the boat, which was on a trailer, was destroyed and there was damage to the carport.
“At this stage the cause of the fire is undetermined and police are continuing their investigations,” police said.
The smell of the fire was in the air at the neat brick home yesterday.
The boat was like blackened charcoal and the carport roof had almost caved in.
The mother, who escaped with her partner and children, was too distressed to speak publicly about the ordeal.
Mr Ryan said one thing saved the family’s life.
“They had smoke detectors that worked, which was great and that enabled them to evacuate,” he said.
“The family did the right thing.”
Mr Ryan said it was a timely reminder for all Border residents to check their smoke detectors.
He said the number of house fires traditionally increased in the winter months with the use of heaters.
“It’s certainly the time we want people to have smoke detectors working,” he said.
Anyone with information on the fire should phone Albury police on (02) 6023 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.