By Andrew Murdoch and Emily Macdonald
An elderly couple was lucky to escape a fire that destroyed the front half of their Cannington home this morning.
The fire started in the roof of the house, causing an estimated $250,000 of damage.
One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, alerted the police after being woken by his cat.
“My cat Smokey woke me up and tapped me on the head, so I looked out the window and actually heard this dull noise, and smelt this acrid smell … and that’s when I saw the flames shooting from the roof of the house,” the neighbour said.
“I got my cousin to call 000 and went outside to help. The woman was already outside and she told me that her husband was still inside so I went in to get him.
“I grabbed him and helped him out, before I took him outside and that’s when the fire brigade turned up.”
Local residents expressed their grief on social media. Chris and Sarah Bailey posted on Facebook.
“Insurance will never bring back the sentimental value of the home,” they said. “They spent their lives together there.”
Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Mark Graham said it appeared the fire had been caused by an electrical fault.
“The elderly lady woke up to investigate some noise and realised there was a fire and went and got her husband and the couple left out the front door,” Mr Graham said.
“The fire was reported at 1.32am and contained by 2.04am. The occupants were very lucky to escape at all because there was no smoke alarm installed.
“Smoke alarms can save lives and reduce the damage caused by fires and every home should have a working smoke alarm installed.”
Two crews from Welshpool fire station and one from Kensington fire station worked to contain the fire.
Welshpool Fire Station officer Matt Wakelin said his crew made sure the fire was out.
“We just came here this morning to follow up from the nightshift crew and to make sure [the fire] was cold and it was,” Mr Wakelin said.
Neighbour Stacey Lu said she was happy nobody was hurt.
The residents were taken in by neighbours and comforted by family and friends throughout the morning but declined to comment.