House burns as family on holidays
FIRE razed the back half of a house on the Old Pacific Highway at Raleigh today .
The owners, who were holidaying at Scotts Head, were informed by police of the bad news.
Firefighters believe the blaze started on the back veranda near an outdoor spa shortly after 11am.
British expat Vanessa Jeffcoast and her son, Max, 6, raised the alarm after spotting smoke while driving past the home.
They were on their way to catching a flight home to Melbourne at the time.
“We have lived in Australia for just over a year and I couldn’t remember the emergency services number here in Australia,” Ms Jeffcoast said.
“Luckily, Max had learnt it was triple 0 in kindergarten. He saved the day.
“Another lucky thing is that we left early allowing extra time to get to the airport to catch our flight.”
A passing Country Energy worker,who was first on the scene, cut the power to the engulfed home.
Neighbours fought the blaze with garden hoses as firefighters responded.
“We arrived on scene to find the rear section of the fibro and timber home well alight,” Urunga Fire Captain Trevor Hayne said.
“The back veranda has been destroyed along with the rear of the home, including the kitchen. Other rooms of the house have also sustained smoke damage.
“As far as we can ascertain, the fire appears to have started near the spa on the veranda.”