“We believe it started with an ageing flue, it was a cold night, the elderly couple had a hydraulics system, and understandably had cranked it up,” he said.
“The fire very quickly got into the roof. There were complexities with the job, as it was a gabled roof, and we had to remove panelling to get to the fire.
“Fortunately, the gentleman had installed a roof sprinkler system due to the bushfire risk around the area, and had switched this on when he realised the roof was on fire.
“This limited the fire to one room of the house, though the rest of the house was full of smoke.”
The elderly couple suffered smoke inhalation, and were treated at the scene by Ambulance Victoria. They were able to spend the night in a caravan they also had on their property.
Commander Booth said while many people had already lit their open fires this season, the fire was also a reminder for people to get their flues and chimneys checked regularly.