News & Media

Neighbours' efforts praised

By: CFA Media

Category: Incidents - Structure

  1.26 PM 3 June, 2015

Location: District 23 News

Views: 2088

A group of Wangaratta residents who sprang to a neighbour’s aid when her home caught fire has been praised by CFA. 

Just after 7pm on Tuesday night (2 June) residents of Higgins Street in Wangaratta heard a neighbour’s fire alarm go off.

Seeing large amounts of smoke rising from her home they called 000 then tried to enter the building and check on its tenant, breaking several windows in an attempt get inside. Beaten back by the heat and smoke, the group then used a garden rake to try and stop the fire from spreading.

Three tankers and a pumper from the Wangaratta and South Wangaratta Brigades responded. It took crews about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control. Six members used breathing apparatus to search the home for its occupant and to continue fighting the fire.

CFA Operations Officer Terry Heafield said the fire was further proof of why all homes should have smoke alarms. 

“The sound of the alarm saved precious minutes responding to the blaze,” he said.

“Residents also deserve praise for their community spirit, alerting authorities then trying to check on their neighbour’s welfare.”

The property’s female tenant was eventually located elsewhere.  

Half of the single storey, weatherboard structure was badly burnt in the fire and around 75% of it suffered smoke damage.

Mr Heafield said fire crews did an excellent job stopping the flames from spreading to neighbouring homes, just metres away.

CFA and Victoria Police are investigating the cause of the fire. At this stage it’s being treated as suspicious.

Last Updated: 04 June 2015