Heater causes house fire in Adelaide Hills
SA Country Fire Service (CFS) crews were called to a fire on Greenhill Road in Summertown just before 9pm last night, where they arrived to find a single-storey house well involved in fire.
Due to the possibility of the roof collapsing which made it unsafe for firefighters to enter the premises, a defensive structural firefighting technique was adopted.
The blaze took around two hours to extinguish and despite the efforts of 40 firefighters, the three bedroom cottage was completely destroyed by the blaze.
Fire cause investigators have attended the scene and determined the cause to be a rusted chimney flue skin from a combustion heater.
The debris collected around the flue dropped into the lounge room and ignited the combustible material stored around the heater.
CFS State Coordinator Leigh Miller says there are measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk of home heating fires.
"In the winter months, it gets exceptionally cold in the Adelaide Hills and most people are using some form of heating, whether this is a gas or combustible heater, or an open fire," CFS State Coordinator Miller said.
"If using a combustible heater make sure you inspect the chimney and flue regularly for signs of damage and residue build-up."
Mr Miller also emphasises that it is essential to keep any flammable items such as bedding, curtains and chairs at least one metre away from the heater.
"Keep heaters well clear of flammable items. Clothes airers should be kept at least two metres away, in case they are knocked over," the CFS State Coordinator said.
"Taking simple precautions when using home heating devices can make a significant difference in preventing house fires."