WENDOUREE residents have had a lucky escape after their roof was mysteriously blown off in a freak incident on Sunday afternoon.
Jason Moody and Glenn Sutton had both been on the porch of the Norman Street home just minutes before a roof tile came crashing onto it, in the exact spot Mr Moody had been sitting.
Despite the calm day, tiles right across the roof were dislodged with the residents saying they heard a huge 'whooshing' sound about 1.30pm. They then looked out onto their porch to see roof tiles had crashed.
The strange incident even had the Bureau of Meteorology baffled, with a senior forecaster suggesting it may have been caused by a rare 'dust-devil' which sometimes occurs in localised bursts in summer months.
Mr Moody said he heard a loud noise like a small plane crashing and when he investigated he saw tiles all over the carport and backyard.
"I came out around the front of the house and noticed a lot more," he said.
"I was literally sitting there minutes earlier cleaning my shoes and had gone inside for a cuppa. It's a freak of nature, we've looked all around the neighbourhood and there's no damage anywhere, we don't know what's happened.
"I'd been sitting there for a good 20 minutes and just walked inside when it happened. Someone was looking after me that's for sure."
Mr Sutton said he was coming through the front area of the house when he heard the wind and saw the tiles crash onto the patio.
"It was just so freaky, you had no idea what the sound was like," he said. "There's this little section near the carport and it's the only area of the roof that hasn't been touched."
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Rod Dickson said winds were generally light, to around about 10km/h throughout the Ballarat region on day.
He said the only possible scenario that he could suggest that may have caused the roof to come off would be what is known as a 'dust devil', which occasionally take place during warmer months.
"A dust devil can be a localised column of rotating wind that can appear and disappear quickly," Mr Dickson said. "Like all wind, it certainly could create a loud noise.
"But it is quite unusual for something like this to occur when the winds have been as light as they have around Ballarat today."
Mr Moody said there was debris all around the house.
"It's a rented home and it's just been purchased by a new owner, but there's nothing you could do about it," he said.
"Not one other house around here has been touched, it's unbelievable."
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.