FIRE destroyed two homes in a unit complex in Mount Hawthorn this morning.
At about 9.45am a motorist driving past Keats Lane saw a large plume of smoke. He stopped and ran down the lane, calling out “fire” to alert neighbours.
One neighbour, Warren, told Guardian Express he joined the motorist in knocking on the doors of the units in the immediate area to make sure everyone was accounted for.
Warren said he knew the “wife and kids” who lived at one of the homes were away overseas and the other occupant at work.
“When I first saw the fire the flames in the house were about six feet high, but it had not come through the roof yet. It developed very quickly and jumped across to the house next door. It all happened fast,” he said.
One fire fighter told Guardian Express they received the call at about 10am, and a team from Osborne Park station was the first on the scene.
“We have two appliances from Perth, one from Daglish, Osborne Park and Belmont,” he said.
There were at least 20 fire fighters at the scene.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Service issued a warning to people in the area to remain inside, out of the smoke, with doors and windows closed and air conditioners switched off.
DFES also warned drivers to keep their headlights on and drive slowly through the area.
By 11am the buildings were still smoking as fire fighters worked through the ruins hosing down the last remnants of the blaze.
The owner of one of the homes returned at about 11am and looked stunned as he surveyed the damage.
The cause of the fire is as yet undetermined.
— Michael Stamp (@StampyMichael) November 22, 2016