CITY of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons and his wife Betty grabbed their passports and pet bird before evacuating their Maiden Gully home on Sunday.
Cr Lyons said he was at a wreath-laying ceremony when Betty called to tell him she could see smoke and flames from the house.
He said he rushed home to his wife, grabbed their passports and pet bird, and left the area.
"I had a reunion in Kangaroo Flat, so I went there and my wife Betty went to our daughter's place," he said.
"We were better off not being there, it was better to be safe than sorry."
Cr Lyons praised fire crews who managed to contain the fire in Schumakers Lane.
"They did a marvellous job," he said.