While out walking the passerby noticed smoke coming from the roof of the two storey house and immediately turned off the gas and electricity. He also notified the CFA by dialling “000” and made every effort possible to rouse any residents who may have been home.
The first appliance arrived on scene within 7 minutes and quickly gained entry to the property through the attached garage. An immediate search of the ground floor was undertaken while attack lines and a crew wearing specialist breathing apparatus were prepared for a search of the first floor.
The location of the fire was not obvious until the internal search led the attack crew to the bathroom on the first floor where the door was jammed shut by heat damage. After two unsuccessful attempts to open this door the crew made entry and immediately extinguished the main fire.
They then continued their search for casualties in the dark and hostile environment, opening windows as they moved from room to room. After completing the search of the property to ensure that there were no casualties, additional crews quickly checked adjoining spaces to ensure that the fire was completely out.
Mopping up activities included ventilating the roof space and both floors of the house. Ventilation is the process of replacing smoke and hot air with clean fresh air. Furniture and other items were protected from water damage once the initial fire fight concluded and crews quickly removed as much water as possible to prevent further damage to carpets and other furnishings as part of the salvage operation.
While the property was extensively damaged by smoke from the fire and by water from a plastic water pipe that had burnt through, there was no significant damage to any structural elements of the building.
Incident Controller and Doreen Brigade Captain, Chris Maries, called for Victoria Police to attend as the residents could not be located and it was necessary to force entry to the property. He also requested that a fire investigation be undertaken as a result of the significant damage which is estimated to be in the vicinity of $80,000.
Family members attended to the occupants once they were located and returned home to inspect the damage.
Crews from Doreen, Mernda and South Morang brigades were on scene for most of the morning and a crew from Doreen returned later in the day when the fire investigation was undertaken. At this stage the cause is undetermined however there are no suspicious circumstances.
Written as reported by Captain Chris Maries
Images by Warren Mitchelson