Exposed timber spreads fire quickly to neighbouring houses
A suspicious fire that ripped through three houses at the weekend is still being investigated.
It started about 8.20pm on Saturday in a house in West End Rd, Westmere that was being renovated.
About 15 fire trucks were sent to battle the blaze which also caused extensive damage to two neighbouring properties.
Senior fire investigator Russell Dickson says the blaze was so intense neighbours reported seeing a fireball.
Because of the construction work in the house where the fire originated there was a lot of exposed timber and this helped the fire to build and spread quickly, he says.
Margaret Lewis, who owns one of the homes damaged in the fire, says she ran out of her home when she heard voices.
‘‘I don’t know whether my house was already on fire but when I opened the door the whole [of the next door] roof was ablaze.’’
Neighbour Mary Irwin says she’d been told to leave her home because of fears the fire may have spread.
‘‘When we came out, the house was ablaze and the one on the right was charred. Then, all of a sudden, the one on the left was going up and everyone was rushing about.’’
Another neighbour, Hillary King, says the house wasn’t occupied.
‘‘It wasn’t lived in and it was one of the oldest houses and the most derelict.’’
Avondale police Detective Sergeant Nina Pedersen says five teenagers have been interviewed in relation to the fire, but no charges have yet been laid.
Intense: The suspicious blaze destroyed one house and damaged two others.
Ablaze: Margaret Lewis owns one of the homes damaged in the Westmere blaze.