A HEROIC group of residents have united to save two houses from being burned to the ground in Ballarat North this afternoon.
The garage of a home in Teal Avenue went up in flames about 1.30pm, after a series of explosions at the rear of the property.
A garage on the neighbouring property was also destroyed, with radiant heat causing damage to the house on that block.
However, if it was not for the quick actions from a group of locals, the damage could have been far worse.
It is not yet known exactly what caused the blaze, with fire investigators expected to remain on scene for some time.
Concreter Andrew Fleming was one of the first on scene, helping the elderly residents clear cars and valuable furniture from a nearby car port.
Mr Fleming estimated the flames were at least 10 metres high, evidenced by a large blackened gum tree at the rear of the property.
"We were just working at the corner and someone said there was a fire," he said.
"We just ran up and grabbed some garden hoses and tried to protect the houses. Someone had to kick in a door on the house next door to get the hose.
"If we hadn't have arrived they could've lost their whole house."
Ballarat City Fire Brigade station officer Hugh Kelly said it took about 20 minutes to bring the fire under control once fire crews arrived.
He also praised the actions of the residents who kept the flames at bay.
"It was good work by our firefighters, as well as the neighbours who were already there," Mr kelly said.
"They were doing what they could and did a good job from stopping it getting bigger."
Nobody was injured in the blaze, although at least six fire trucks helped tackle the fire.
Police and CFA will investigate the cause of the blaze, although it is not believed to be suspicious.