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Four fires prompt a reminder for home fire safety audit

Published: 6th December 2011

Fire & Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has issued a reminder not to overload power outlets, and to conduct a home fire safety audit, after fires damaged four homes during unseasonably cold weather throughout NSW today.

Two people were transported to hospital by ambulance suffering smoke inhalation after a fire seriously damaged a unit on Morwick Street, Strathfield. Fire crews arrived at the block of 16 units at 9.41am to find the laundry in a second-level unit well alight.

Fire crews extinguished the fire within 10 minutes and evacuated 20 people from the complex, including an elderly woman and two others trapped on the balcony above the fire. Eleven people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

“The fire destroyed the laundry of one of the units. It appears that two clothes dryers and a commercial fridge were connected to one power point,” said FRNSW Superintendent Tom Cooper.

In the second incident, two people from Dundas, in Sydney’s west, were taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation after a fire damaged a townhouse. The fire broke out on the upper level of the townhouse shortly after 11am - a faulty power board, a possible cause.

“It is vital to ensure your electrical equipment meets proper Australian safety standards,” Superintendent Cooper said.

In the third incident, a person was also taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation after a fire -- believed to have been caused by electrical equipment -- started in the roof at a home at Kemps Creek, shortly after 10am.

The fourth fire occurred at Lithgow shortly before 11:30am. In this fire two dwellings, which shared a common roof, were destroyed after a fire started in one of the residences. A woodburning heater is believed to be the cause of this fire.

“It is important to conduct a home fire safety audit to minimise the risk of fire,” Superintendent Cooper said. “This is a timely reminder of the fire danger posed, particularly in the festive season or unseasonable weather, by overloading power points and power boards.”

In partnership with GIO, FRNSW has produced a handy-to-use home safety audit. People are encouraged to undertake the audit by visiting: www.homefiresafetyaudit.com.au