Mooroopna resident Joan Kelso, 86, escaped unharmed from a devastating fire in her small unit during the early hours of yesterday morning.
The resident of Rodney Park Retirement Village woke up to the sounds of a blaring smoke alarm just before 1am.
Despite her best efforts with a fire blanket, she could not stop the spread of fire and left her home that was quickly destroyed by the blaze.
Outside of her unit she was greeted by the Rodney Park community who rallied with emergency services to provide support to her during the ordeal.
Ms Kelso’s daughter Judy McIntyre said the family was impressed by the professionalism of the firefighters who under- stood what she was going through.
‘‘Mum was a bit shaky but after some rest and a cup of tea she is now in better spirits,’’ Ms McIntyre said. ‘‘She is a tough person.
‘‘We also really appreciate the support of staff and residents who were quick to offer temporary accommodation and help, if she was in a private unit she wouldn’t have had that kindness.’’
CFA brigades from Mooroopna and Shepparton acted swiftly and successfully contained the flames as the three neighbouring units were evacuated. Ambulance, police and State Emergency Services also attended the scene.
Rodney Park Retirement Village is operated by Shepparton Villages.
Shepparton Villages chief executive Kerri Rivett paid tribute to the residents, staff and emergency responders, in particular the CFA, who stayed long after the area was under control to ensure the care and wellbeing of residents.
‘‘One of the CFA volunteers answered the callout despite being in the middle of their Year 10 exam period,’’ Ms Rivett said.
‘‘We have a close knit community here at Rodney Park everyone banded together on Tuesday morning and were happy no-one was hurt.’’
Ms Rivett said they had arranged an alternate unit for Ms Kelso to move into at Rodney before the Christmas period.
The cause of the fire was identified as the kitchen stove top which was left on overnight.