Fire fighters at the occupied Newbridge Street, Lismore home destroyed by fire around 3am on Friday.
Fire fighters at the occupied Newbridge Street, Lismore home destroyed by fire around 3am on Friday.

FAMILY FLEES HOUSE BLAZE

By EMMA O’NEILL emma.oneill@northernstar.com MOST people have woken during the night because it’s too hot to sleep – not many discover the source of the heat to be flames engulfing their neighbour’s house.

That’s what happened to 13-year-old Peta Varga of Newbridge Street, South Lismore at 3am on Thursday.

“It just felt really hot in my room and then I looked out and realised the house next door was on fire,” she said.

“I woke mum up and she called 000, I was just hoping everyone would be alright.”

Peta’s mum, Linda, grabbed a hose and started dousing a paperbark between the two houses. Peta’s father, Joe, was working at Norco and quickly drove home.

“I arrived home just as the fire was taking over my neighbour’s house,” he said.

“It all happened too bloody quickly for my liking. I reckon the whole house went up in about five minutes.”

The extreme heat from the blaze had cracked windows and melted pipes on the Varga’s home, but Mr Varga said the damage was insignificant compared to the pile of ash that now replaced their neighbour’s house.

“The poor buggers have lost everything,” he said. “We had our neighbour and her daughter in for a cup of tea after it happened. She left wearing my wife’s dressing gown and that’s about all they have now.”

According to Mr Varga, his neighbour and her teenage daughter had been woken by a fire alarm minutes before flames destroyed their house.

Station Commander at Goonellabah, Ian Grimwood, said the incident had proved how vital fire alarms were.

“It’s the law to have fire alarms now, and fires take off so fast it’s really important,” he said. Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

A HOME at Fawcett St, Kyogle was damaged in a fire believed to have started about 6.30pm yesterday.

Few details were available last night, but police duty officer Inspector Scott Bingham said it was the second fire at the same house in the past few months.

Insp Bingham said no-one was hurt in the blaze. Detectives were investigating.



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