Safety warning after fire guts unit

A WINTER fire safety warning has been issued for Ballarat after fire gutted a flat on Wednesday morning.

Three fire crews attended a “full-blown” flat fire at a Humffray Street South two-bedroom unit in Mount Pleasant.

Crews attended the fire just before 1.30am and brought the it under control within 30 minutes.

Senior station officer Terry Fradd said damage was estimated at more than $200,000.

“The unit was pretty much destroyed. The fire was going fairly well,” he said.

A woman was inside the unit when the fire broke out. 

Residents were also evacuated from the surrounding eight units until the fire was deemed safe.

Ballarat police said the incident was not being treated as suspicious as the fire was believed to have started by a candle in the back room.

Senior station officer Shane Phillips said winter was the peak period for house fires caused by household appliances.

“In Ballarat, especially with some of the older houses, the wiring can be well-aged and in need of maintenance and repair. Sometimes that wiring isn’t capable of running modern appliances,” he said.

“We would issue a warning to anyone using candles, plug heaters or drying clothes next to heaters or driers with lint filters that are full.

“They’re the main causes of house fires and electric blankets are the next biggest issue.”

david.jeans@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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