Lucky escape: Family not home when fire starts
MOUNTAIN Creek residents Michael and Sara Osses have a home to return to from holidays thanks to the quick actions of passers-by.
Their son Daniel Osses was yesterday very grateful that fellow Mountain Creek residents Steven Schroeders and Tegan Clare were driving past when Mr Schroeders noticed smoke coming from the garage of the Glenfields Dr home.
Fire authorities were yesterday investigating what role an alarm system and a recalled DC isolator for solar panels had in sparking the blaze.
Miss Clare, her partner and their daughter were on their way to buy Christmas presents about 11am when they saw smoke.
Had they left three to four minutes later, they might have been too late to save the home.
"My partner noticed that there was a lot of smoke coming from the house so we turned around and just made sure no one was inside and called the fire brigade," Miss Clare said.
They could see flames coming from the closed garage door.
"We knocked on all the doors and all the windows," she said.
"My partner was knocking pretty hard on everything to make sure no one was around."
Mr Scarlett said it appeared an electrical fire had started in an alarm system.
However, consideration was also being given to a nearby DC isolator for solar panels. It was an Avanco brand AV/DC4P25A model that was recalled last year over concerns about potential fire risks.
Mr Scarlett said the fire was in the ceiling space when officers arrived but they were able to halt it from spreading further.
"It was probably only three or four minutes extra time and that whole ceiling space would have been on fire and there would have been a lot of damage to this house so it was very, very lucky that someone did spot that smoke at an early stage," Mr Scarlett said.
He said solar electricity could be very efficient but people needed to be aware of potential problems and have their systems checked annually.
"Also, if they have any systems in place that have been recalled it's worth checking with Products Recall Australia because there are some components, mainly the DC isolators that go with those solar systems, that have been faulty and have been recalled and they need to be replaced."
Meanwhile, Daniel Osses was just grateful his family's home of more than a decade had been saved.
He had rushed from his work at Currimundi after police rang him.
His mum and dad had been on holiday at Lady Elliott
Island for about a week-and-a-half.
"I was doing the whole house-sitting thing, thinking I was doing a good job," Daniel said.
"Whoever has called in, we thank them to bits because it wouldn't have been a good Christmas."
He described the save as "a little Christmas miracle".
"I'm a bit shocked but it could have been worse," he said.