A still night is believed to have saved a blaze from spreading to a neighbour’s house following a two-storey house fire in Tocumwal Rd, Numurkah, yesterday morning.
Seven CFA units and the Shepparton water bomber helicopter battled flames for more than an hour before bringing the blaze under control.
‘‘About 1.30am a fire was noticed at an unoccupied residence by passers-by who then alerted neighbours,’’ Wangaratta police Detective Senior Constable Justin Schulze said.
‘‘By the time firefighters arrived the house was fully ablaze and damaged extensively.’’
Numurkah firefighter Peter Bilston said the flames were between six to eight metres above the second storey roof and close to neighbouring properties.
‘‘Brigades did a good job in keeping it under control, but it was just lucky it was a still night,’’ he said.
Next door neighbours described to The News how they heard loud crackling of wood and one said their pet dog was ‘‘going off’’.
‘‘I got a knock on the door in the middle of the night telling us that the house next to us was on fire, so we quickly got the kids out,’’ one neighbour said.
Another neighbour said they saw flames gushing out of the house before the roof collapsed in on itself.
Det Sen Const Schulze said the owner had been renovating the house and was not permanently living in the home.
‘‘The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but an initial assessment indicates that it started in the upstairs section of the house,’’ he said.
‘‘There has been difficulties in determining the cause due to the fact that the building is unstable, but an arson chemist from Melbourne will attend (today).’’
Det Sen Const Schulze said the owner was ‘‘understandably not happy’’ about the incident.