Unoccupied Finley home destroyed
An intense fire which destroyed a Finley home Sunday morning is among one of the worst seen by local firefighters.
Saying it was one of the biggest house fires he had witnessed in his career, Finley Fire & Rescue NSW Captain Brian O’Hora says it was lucky no-one was inside when the home was engulfed in flames about 5am Sunday.
Neighbours of the Walter St home contacted emergency services, who were unable to start fighting the blaze until just before 6am.
‘‘We couldn’t start our procedures until the electricity was switched off, which was about 5.45am,’’ Capt O’Hora said.
‘‘The roof collapsed internally onto the floor, which also delayed us from going through the house.
‘‘The external lining is an old asbestos sheet, and that meant we had to take extra precautions.’’
Due to the intensity of the blaze, Capt O’Hora called on assistance from the Berrigan Fire & Rescue NSW and Finley Rural Fire Service.
Capt O’Hora said it took firefighers about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire, and a further 90 minutes to assess for hotspots using special thermal imaging equipment.
He said given the intensity, firefighters prioritised protecting surrounding properties and trees from catching fire.
‘‘When we arrived on scene, I knew straight away that it (the home) was totally destroyed,’’ Capt O’Hora said.
‘‘From that point it was important that all surrounding properties were clear from danger.’’
Michael Moloney, whose neighbouring home suffered some radiant heath damage from the blaze, said he was alerted to the fire when he was woken by ‘‘two loud bangs’’.
‘‘At first I thought it was kids throwing rocks at my house,’’ he said.
‘‘As I came outside, I realised what was happening and ran back inside to get my family out of our house and called triple zero.
‘‘The first thing I said when I looked at the house was ‘if there’s someone in there, there’s no way of getting them out’ because of how big it was, and luckily no-one was.’’
Police have confirmed no-one was injured as a result of the blaze, and are now investigating the cause of the fire.
Police believe the home was being renovated.
ABOVE: A Walter St home in Finley has been completely destroyed by fire; RIGHT: The blaze at its peak on Sunday morning.