Devastation as beach home burnt to the ground

THEY escaped a devastating fire, and now they have to rebuild their lives.

An Emerald Beach family is still trying to come to terms with the dreadful blaze which claimed their home and belongings early on Saturday.

A man, his partner and their four-year-old daughter had to dash to safety as the flames took hold of their two-storey rental property in Ocean View Crescent.

The shrill of smoke alarms alerted them to the fire, and the man initially tried to douse the flames. Neighbours armed with garden hoses rushed to help and tried their best to extinguish the fire.

Fire crews were called about 12.50am and arrived to discover the house well alight.

At the height of the emergency, at least 30 firefighters, six fire vehicles and a hazardous materials unit, as well as police and ambulance officers, were at the scene.

They included the Sandy Beach, Woolgoolga and Moonee Rural Fire Service brigades, along with NSW Fire Brigade crews from Woolgoolga and Coffs Harbour.

Some firefighters were forced to don breathing apparatus as they battled the fire.

They were unable to save the concrete block and tin dwelling, with the fire also destroying a sedan parked in the driveway. A Volkswagen campervan and a Holden Jackaroo were badly damaged.

However, fire crews did prevent neighbouring homes from going up in flames.

Police are continuing their investigations into the cause of the fire, which is believed to have been sparked by a fault in a heater.

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