Heat on for fire safety measures

Firefighters at the scene of the house fire in Bassendean, which required attention throughout the night.
Firefighters at the scene of the house fire in Bassendean, which required attention throughout the night.

Bassendean station officer Ken Holyoake said the fire started from a wood-fire heater at the 130-year-old Aughton Street property and caused $400,000 in damage.

Mr Holyoake said the couple inside the house at the time managed to escape unharmed after waking to the sound of their smoke alarm around 2.20am on July 10.

‘When we first arrived the flames were coming out of a window out the back,’ he said.

‘The fire burnt the roof in and large sheets of tin prevented us from getting to the seat of the fire.

‘We had to try and fight the fire from the outside until daylight when we could assess it more safely. The day-shift crew did an overhaul where you pull the sheets off and make the area safe and get to the little hot spots.’

Firefighters battled the fire for two hours before it was under control and a further seven for it to be completely extinguished.

Without knowing the entire circumstances of how the fire started, Mr Holyoake advised simple tips to be fire safe while using heaters.

‘You should have a spark guard around wood and open heaters with all combustible material at least a metre away. You should know at least two ways out of your house and where your keys are,’ he said.

But the most important message Mr Holyoake had was to make sure all smoke alarms were actively working and checked regularly.