FIREFIGHTERS believe a cigarette may have sparked a fire in Spring Gully which damaged one house and threatened nearby homes on Friday.
Neighbours kicked in the door of the Shelley Street home searching for a woman and her baby who were feared missing.
CFA senior station officer Craig Houlahan praised their actions and said they probably prevented the blaze from burning out of control.
“The cause is being investigated but we believe it may have been from somebody smoking,” he said.
“We believe the cigarette was left in an ashtray and because of the winds it was able to ignite.
“The back deck where it started was destroyed, the flames went up the side wall and into the roof, and because of the wind it was moving extremely quickly.”
Mr Houlahan praised firefighter Sam Dennis, who worked in “difficult and hot conditions” and was able to contain the fire.
“He was working downwind of the fire, when it was very hot with low visibility, and he was working from heights, so he did an extremely good job,” Mr Houlahan said.
“The neighbourhood came together to contain the fire from spreading. They worked as a team and were vigilant.
“The fire had the potential to spread to other properties and it’s great see the community spirit where people come together to lessen the impact of a fire.
“That’s probably something you see in regional and country areas.”
Mr Houlahan said people should take care at fire scenes.
“In an emergency when members of the community and neighbours are assisting, they should always have safety in mind,” he said.
“Those environments are very dangerous.”