Leongatha family saved from blaze


Leongatha family saved from blaze

AN eight year old male Persian cat named ‘Shadow’ came to the rescue of a family of four and saved their lives, after fire almost engulfed their home in Leongatha’s Worthy Street early on Sunday morning.

The house was occupied by Sharon Hollier, her friend Gary Ponder, and children Kiara Hollier, 12, and Emily Hollier, 6.

According to Mrs Hollier, she was awoken at about 1.25am to a bang on the roof.

“There was a party going on nearby and I thought the bang may have been related to that so I didn’t think much of it,” Mrs Hollier told The Star.

“However our Persian cat soon after started making quite loud meowing noises which is quite uncharacteristic as she is usually a quiet cat.

“She usually sleeps on Kiara’s bed with the bedroom door closed but for some reason this time she had the run of the house, luckily.

“I opened our bedroom door to investigate and immediately detected a very damp chemical smell, and the cat came straight to me and curled itself around my leg.

“With the dampness I thought the hot water service may have blown up.”

Mrs Hollier went closer to the closed laundry door in the middle of the house and felt an intense heat emanating from this room.

“Kiara’s bedroom is adjacent to the laundry and I yelled for her to get out,” she said.

Mr Ponder climbed out of another bedroom window and immediately went back in to get Emily out of her bedroom at the front of the house.

He then went back in to rescue two other animals, a cat and a dog which were both in cages.

Leongatha Fire Brigade spokesperson Andy Kay said the family was extremely lucky.

“I reckon another few minutes and it would have been nasty,” he said.

“Quick work by the householder in getting a hose and starting to extinguish the flames before we arrived probably saved the house as well.”

The Leongatha brigade turned out three vehicles while the Ruby brigade came in to assist.

Mr Kay said the cause of the blaze was likely to be a control panel at the bottom of a chest freezer located in the laundry.

Damage to the house has been contained mainly to the laundry and the lounge room of the home, although there is damage to the roof in all rooms as well as smoke damage throughout the house.

“There was quite a bit of heat in the house, so much that it melted a split system air conditioner,” Mr Kay said.

The Leongatha brigade used the fuse puller on the Hazmat unit to turn off the electricity.

Mr Kay couldn’t confirm whether or not the house had smoke detectors fitted, although Mrs Hollier confirmed the house was fitted with a smoke detector.

She said the house was insured and she met with the insurance company yesterday (Monday) to go over the details.

“We had only just finished renovations to the lounge room and had just started using it again,” she said.

The family praised local authorities who worked together to help with emergency accommodation.

“I would like to thank the South Gippsland Shire, Red Cross volunteers, and my many neighbours including John and Karen Suckling for helping us get through the fire and the related problems of finding temporary accommodation,” Mrs Hollier said.

We’re safe: happy to have all escaped a potential deadly house fire were, from left, Emily Hollier, Gary Ponder, hero cat ‘Shadow’, Sharon Hollier and Kiara Hollier.

We’re safe: happy to have all escaped a potential deadly house fire were, from left, Emily Hollier, Gary Ponder, hero cat ‘Shadow’, Sharon Hollier and Kiara Hollier.

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Posted by on Nov 24 2015. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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