Ballarat East fire destroys vacant house

Seven CFA units have controlled  a fire in Ballarat East that has gutted a King Street South house.

The fire started shortly after 5pm Thursday in the vacant old miners cottage on the corner of King Street South and Dodds Lane. 

When they arrived the house was fully engulfed in flames.

While the house is still standing, flames completely destroyed the interior and ripped through the roof.

CFA first lieutenant Mark Cartledge said the aerial platform truck was also called in to remove shingles from the roof.

The cause is undetermined but will be investigated by police, he said.

Mr Cartledge said no one was in the house at the time. 

York and King Street South residents have been advised to stay inside due to smoke.

Mr Cartledge said Powercor were on hand to isolate the house form the grid to make it safe for firefighters.   

Neighbour Lisa Paliaga who has lived near the house for 15 years said the vacant home has been a magnet for vagrants and trouble in the area.  

"It has been lived in by squatters for over 5 years," Ms Paliaga said. 

"I was waiting for the day it went up, everyone in the neighbourhood was. It was always creating trouble in the neighbouring houses. We had things stolen from cars."

She said it had also attracted other undesirables who used the abandoned house to take drugs.

"I hope no one fell asleep when it started, " she said.

Melody Broomhall and her family were evacuated from an adjoining house.

"The CFA pulled us out because fumes were coming into our property," Ms Broomhall said.