Two occupants of a home at Freshwater have escaped a fire that spread into the roof.

Shortly after 11.00am this morning (Saturday, 14 January), Fire and Rescue NSW Dee Why Station was called to a report of smoke coming from a residential house at Marlborough Avenue, Freshwater. On arrival, they saw a significant volume of smoke coming from the two-storey home and called in a ‘second alarm’ response to request additional fire crews.

Freshwater house fire

The two occupants of the house, a man and woman believed to be in their late 20s, were house sitting and minding the owner’s dog. They escaped the residence with the dog unharmed, after being alerted by a smoke alarm and smelling the smoke.

The fire started on the ground floor of the property, moving into a cavity space between the two levels, with smoke seen coming out from under metal roofing between the first and second level on the eastern side of the home.

Freshwater house fire

Officers from Northern Beaches Police Area Command closed access to the street while firefighters in breathing apparatus switched off power and gas and made entry to the home through the rear door. Additional fire crews arrived from Manly, Forestville, Mosman and Neutral Bay Stations.

Freshwater house fire

Firefighters suppressed the active fire with a hose line, and began looking for where it was spreading through internal wall and roof cavities. Thermal imaging cameras were used to assist locate hot spots, with firefighters required to access through the ceiling and pull up floorboards on the second level to completely extinguish the flames.

While this effort was underway, a secondary team of firefighters remained on stand-by in case there were any issues that resulted in the compromise of the safety of firefighters within the home. A NSW Ambulance Special Operations Paramedic also remained on stand-by for firefighter safety.

Freshwater house fire

Fire and Rescue NSW Dee Why Station Officer Chris Lloyd said that the smoke alarm had contributed to the residents escaping the home unharmed.

Chris Lloyd

Chris Lloyd

“We pulled up to see smoke issuing from the roof of the two-storey home. As we arrived, the occupants met us out the front. They were alerted to the fire by a smell of smoke and working smoke alarm. Both the occupants and the dog escaped the home unharmed.

“We had multiple crews enter the home through the back door and extinguish the fire using a hose line. The fire was in the roof void between the levels. How it started is to be determined, but today shows that working smoke alarms save lives,” said SO Lloyd.

With firefighting operations complete just after 1.45pm, the home was ventilated to clear smoke and checked for toxic gas readings with atmospheric monitoring equipment before it was handed back to the occupants.

The occupants of the home declined NSW Ambulance assessment, stating they were unharmed. No other injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Images: Luke Gavahan, Northern Beaches Advocate

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