Fire has gutted a leafy Mount Kembla property after a blaze ignited in the two-storey home yesterday afternoon.
Emergency services were called to the William James Drive address about 3.15pm.
About 20 Fire and Rescue NSW personnel from Unanderra, Dapto, Warrawong and Wollongong stations worked for 50 minutes to control the blaze.
‘‘We were worried about structural collapse internally so our heavy rescue [team] had to use acrow props to create a safe environment for firefighters to work in while they extinguished the fire,’’ Fire and Rescue NSW inspector Jay Bland said.
‘‘It was a two-storey brick and tile home with a pretty big area and it was 80 per cent damaged by fire. The remainder has been damaged by smoke and heat.’’
One firefighter was taken to Wollongong Hospital by ambulance suffering thermal burns to the left shoulder and hands.
Neighbour Luke Iacovelli alerted authorities.
‘‘I saw some smoke coming out from the house and at first I assumed that someone was just burning some timber but then I heard the glass breaking,’’ he said.
‘‘I could see what looked like smoke coming out of the garage, so I quickly called triple zero and grabbed their two dogs.
‘‘My concern was the lady that owns the house, her car was there, but I’ve found out she’s not here – she’s away on holidays.’’
In a separate incident, Fire and Rescue NSW units were called to a fire at the former Bonds factory at Unanderra after 7pm last night.
Initial reports suggested a truck was alight and smoke was coming from an office area in an adjacent building.