Thousands of treasured items and a family home have been destroyed in a tragic fire in Smeaton in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Local resident Sean MacDermott and his two young daughters narrowly escaped the blaze shortly before 2am when they were alerted to the danger by a smoke alarm.
CFA crews received the call out at 1.46am.
Eight trucks were sent to the site located on the Creswick-Newstead Road, with the fire marked as ‘under control’ by 2.44am.
However, the house couldn’t be saved and was reduced to a smouldering wreck by Saturday morning.
Smeaton CFA member Ron Cosgrave said the house was “totally engulfed” by the time crews arrived on the scene.
Mr MacDermott said he was overwhelmingly “relieved” he and his daughters escaped without injury, and thanked the local CFA crews and community for their support.
“We got out and that’s the main thing,” he said.
“We went to a neighbor and we were very well looked after.
“We really appreciate the effort by the CFA and the community. They couldn’t have been more supportive.”
The house, which was once used a shopfront, is well known in the community.
“It was a lovely old place,” Mr MacDermott said.
“I bought it about seven years ago.”
Mr MacDermott’s ute was also severely damaged by the fire, but the real heartache lies with the some 30,000 vinyl records that were also destroyed.
An avid book collector, Mr MacDermott said he also lost several thousand books, many of them first edition.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, with Bacchus Marsh police contacted for comment.
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