SMOKE HAZARD: Ballina firefighters put on breathing apparatus before entering the Waterview Circuit, West Ballina, where there was a fire on the top floor on September 9.
SMOKE HAZARD: Ballina firefighters put on breathing apparatus before entering the Waterview Circuit, West Ballina, where there was a fire on the top floor on September 9. Graham Broadhead

Neighbours save Ballina house from burning down

WEST Ballina's Vincent Chee is thankful for the quick actions of his neighbours when his Waterview Circuit house caught fire yesterday.

A neighbour across the road rang the fire brigade to report the fire, while a next door neighour did her best to control the fire which was contained to the top floor of Mr Chee's home.

There was no one in the house when the fire began.

A neighbour across the road had just come out of his home after being inside for about 20 minutes to see smoke coming from a top floor window - the fire had started within that 20 minutes he was inside.

"It didn't take long to start he said," he said.

He said the fire appeared to start in the roof of the home.

A spokesperson for Fire and Rescue NSW said the fire was reported at 2.17pm.

The spokesperson said the fire appeared to start in the upstairs kitchen.

The cause of the fire is being investigated and the extent of the damage is not known.

Mr Chee, who was on his way home, had stopped to give a lift to a next door neighbour.

When they arrived at Mr Chee's home to see smoke billowing from the top floor of the building, the neighbour used a garden hose to try and control the fire.

"But it was too hard because it was upstairs," she said.

That neighbour has offered Mr Chee and his wife use of a spare bedroom while the damage is being assessed.

Mr Chee said if the upstairs of his insured home was too damaged, he and his wife "won't be able to live in the home for a while".

He said the couple's bedroom, living room and dining room were all upstairs in the riverside property.

Ballina firefighters had to wear breathing apparatus to enter the home.


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