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Dinner ends up a firey occasion
Cooler temperatures create the perfect climate for snow at the high country but also the perfect climate for house fires.
District 24 Operations Officer Brett Boatman said in areas around Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain the risk of fires in the home was high as residents and visitors tried to keep warm using wood fires and heaters.
“Just last night CFA attended a fire in Dinner Plain which was caused by a number of pizza boxes put on a wood fire,” he said.
Mr Boatman said the fire became so hot and intense it ignited up into the chimney and took crews about 10 minutes to control.
“Fortunately the fire was contained to the fireplace and chimney and there was only a small amount of smoke damage within the house,” he said.
“The nine people inside the house at the time safely evacuated but like any fire, this had the potential to be much worse.”
CFA was called to the incident on Big Muster Drive about 6.50pm with three trucks and a support vehicle from Mount Hotham and Omeo attending.
Mr Boatman said most chimney fires could be avoided by good maintenance.
“Chimneys need to be swept each year to avoid a build-up of product which could ignite inside and you should only burn dry wood and light your fire with firelighters,” he said.
Last year, poorly maintained chimneys caused 159 house fires in Victoria.
Other tips for keeping your fireplace safe:
- Always use a fire screen in front of an open fire.
- Put out fires before going to bed or going out.
- Keep 1 metre clear space around.
For more information on what you can do to plan for and prevent
fires in the home, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/fires-in-the-home/