The two-storey home in Elphinstone Place, Davidson, recently destroyed by fire, will likely be demolished because the structure is so badly damaged.
The family living there included an elderly couple and their son, in his 40s.
Manly Observer was informed the residents have a second house in Sydney’s north-west in which they can recover from the unexpected tragedy. Thankfully, there was no loss of life and only one minor injury as neighbours alerted the occupants to the fire, enabling them to escape the inferno before it took hold.
At approximately 8.15pm on Friday 8 December, emergency services were called and fire crews from Dee Why, Forestville, Lane Cove, Manly, Mosman and Willoughby responded – plus NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews from Davidson and the Warringah Headquarters in Terrey Hills.
A Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) spokesperson revealed six fire trucks and thirty firefighters responded to the massive blaze, which was contained by water hoses from the street, as it was too dangerous to enter the premises.
An elderly couple and a 43-year-old man who sustained mild leg burns were among the four people rescued from the blazing house.
A Channel 7 News report revealed “The fire began in a top room, possibly caused by a potentially lethal combination of vapours from a cleaning solvent and an ignition source – in this case an electric toy train set.”
Neighbours told Manly Observer the family had a large miniature electric railway set.
In the same news report, Superintendent Adam Dewberry of NSW Fire and Rescue warned, “A lot of the cleaning products are flammable, so just be careful how you’re using them.”
The Christmas tree that was silhouetted in front of the flames in the photograph Manly Observer published (see above) somehow survived the blaze, and a recent visit to the house, now enclosed in steel fencing, revealed the festive tree was still standing in the downstairs loungeroom.
Most of the upstairs was destroyed, and with just brick walls standing after the majority of the timber support structures were incinerated, it is highly likely that the house will be completely demolished for safety reasons, and a new one built on the site.
A GoFundMe account established to help the homeowners with accommodation and other expenses has, for a variety of reasons, since been halted and monies refunded to contributors.