South Grafton house fire 'flames looked huge'
SOUTH Grafton resident Patty McDonald could see the flames leaping into the air from streets away.
"There was a roar and then the crackling of pine or whatever was burning," she said.
"The flames looked huge from my backyard."
Emergency services were called to the blaze in Peppermint Pl, South Grafton just before 11pm on Thursday.
Grafton Fire and Rescue captain Garry Reardon said by the time crews from Grafton and South Grafton arrived on scene, the fire was already fully involved and posed a threat to a neighbouring building.
"The fire had ventilated through the centre of the building and the roof had collapsed in," he said.
"We had to make sure the house next door didn't catch fire."
Mr Reardon said the fire was quickly bought under control, and extinguished with the assistance of three vehicles and fifteen firefighters.
"It took longer to fight the fire because we couldn't get inside; too dangerous," he said.
"We used a thermal imaging camera to determine any hot spots, and had to pull some of the ceiling down from outside the building to fight some spots of fire."
The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire, and it is understood it had recently been vacated.
It is the third unoccupied house in South Grafton to be destroyed by fire in as many months, the most recent being a suspicious blaze at Toona Wy, South Grafton last month.
In August a house on Melaleuca Wy, believed to be NSW Department of Housing dwelling, was also destroyed in a suspicious fire.
The scene has now been handed over to police, who will investigate the cause.
Anyone with information regarding the circumstances of the house fire can phone Grafton Police on 6642 0222.