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Man escapes fire in Seymour
A CFA Assistant Chief Officer has helped a man out of his burning unit in Seymour overnight on Thursday (16 March).
Firefighters were called to a fire in a residential unit, on the upper level of a two storey complex on Station Road around 8pm.
The neighbouring unit, also on the second storey was involved in the fire.
ACO North East Region Ross Sullivan had left a meeting in Seymour and noticed a group of people on the road, and saw smoke issuing from the unit complex.
CFA brigades had been paged and were on their way to the scene.
As he moved closer to the area, he saw a man on the first floor, standing near the window, with fire behind him.
“I yelled out to him, I asked him if he could get out of the building any other way, and if there was anyone else with him.
“There was no one else. The man kept going back inside and coming back to the window and coughing. I said: you have to come out.
“There was a large window as part of the unit, and a large shop underneath. I was encouraging him to come out of the window and onto the awning.
“It took a lot of encouragement for him to come onto the awning. There were two young fellas who asked if a ladder would help. We needed to get him down somehow.
“I am really pleased the man was listening. By this stage, he was pretty distraught. The fire was extending very quickly through the building.
“I asked him to close any doors near to him, as that can help with smoke, and we were able to talk him down the ladder and to safety.”
CFA District 12 Operations Manager Rob Van Dorsser said the fire was difficult to access due to its severity.
“Firefighters predominately did an external attack, due to the intensity of the fire.
“There is significant damage to the two shops underneath the units. While the complex is still standing, the integrity of the building could be compromised, so inspectors will be looking into that today.”
Mr Van Dorsser said the cause was put down to unattended cooking.
“Never leave cooking unattended. It’s the small distractions which can lead to significant fires, serious injury and devastating circumstances.”
Brigades from Seymour, Avenel, Hilldene, Shepparton and Bendigo attended with police and ambulance.