CLOSE CAL: Mark Shailer, of Lismore Heights, had a lucky escape when his kero lamp tipped over and his bed caught fire.
CLOSE CAL: Mark Shailer, of Lismore Heights, had a lucky escape when his kero lamp tipped over and his bed caught fire. Northern Star

Close call for kerosene fire in Lismore Heights

MARK Shailer was showing no signs of life after firefighters pulled him out of his second story Gallagher Drive unit in Lismore Heights on Monday night.

Fire had broken out in the back bedroom just before 7pm, caused by a kerosene lamp that had been knocked over by the cat.

Mr Shailer said he realised what had happened when the smoke detector went off.

"I thought I had put it out with a bucket of water and I came out and I called the fire brigade," he said.

"And I went back in to check and it had just started spreading.

"It was amazing just how quickly it spread.

"I got about six buckets of water into it but ended up with pretty bad smoke inhalation."

Mr Shailer praised the quick response of firefighters and ambulance officers who "did a great job."

"It was an Anzac Day I will never forget," he said.

"I'm grateful it didn't spread to the other units."

Lismore station officer Erin Rampling said when the first NSW Fire and Rescue crew from Lismore arrived, smoke was visible from the window of the centre unit.

"A neighbour has told us that the middle-aged man who lived in the unit had a fire upstairs and he'd re-entered the property to try and put out the fire," he said.

"We had two fire fighters take a hose inside and commence fire attack.

"They found the occupant and he collapsed inside, so firefighters carried him outside and continued on fighting the fire.

"Then the second truck arrived and they commenced working o the middle-aged man on the front lawn.

"He was showing no signs of life at that stage so they provided him oxygen."

Station Officer Rampling said ambulance officers arrived soon after and were able to revive the man before transporting him to Lismore Base Hospital.

Firefighters were able to successfully contain the fire to a mattress in one room.

Station Officer Rampling said the message Fire and Rescue NSW likes to put out is 'get out and stay out.'

"Once people go out of a fire they should stay out," he said.

"We don't want people to re-enter or go back into a burning house because unfortunately it's not always a good ending."

Station Officer Rampling said if it hadn't been for the support of the community in pushing for a 24-hour fire station in Lismore five years ago, the outcome of Gallagher Dr fire may have been very different.

"Because we're a 24-hour fire service now we were there within five minutes, from the time of receiving the call to stopping out the front of the house."



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