A FAMILY home on Lake Bullen Merri’s ridgeline was razed to the ground early Wednesday morning in a blaze suspected of burning for hours.
Country Fire Authority (CFA) Camperdown officer Mick Brebner said brigade members were called to the fire, on the corner of Park Lane and Park Road (opposite the caravan park), at about 2.20am.
“The call came from a young mother in Camperdown who had just finished feeding her baby and saw the glow of the fire from her window,” he said.
“By the time we arrived it was an inferno – the whole structure had pretty much collapsed.
“There was really nothing left that could be saved, so our job was really just to put out what we could.”
Mr Brebner said the house had probably been burning for a number of hours before it was noticed.
“It was a conite structure, which tends to hold the flames and the heat in,” he said.
“There aren’t really any walkers around at that hour to notice anything, so it quite possibly had been burning for a quite a long while.”
Two CFA units from Camperdown and Cobden attended the blaze along with single units from Chocolyn and Bostocks Creek.
The house remains continued to smoulder throughout the day, along with an attached garage which was also destroyed.
A 1994 Holden Capri was almost unrecognisable with its roof caved in, tyres burnt to the rims and hub caps melted.
A water tank with one side completely melted was also an indicator of the fire’s intensity.
Property owners Tom Newling and Jo Duynhoven were not home at the time.
“Tom had just spent a few days at the house tidying up and mowing and had come back home to Geelong,” she said.
“We got the call saying the house was gone and couldn’t believe it.
“It’s a bit overwhelming, standing here and staring at what’s left.”
Ms Duynhoven said their own belongings were in Geelong, but being the Newling’s family home, a lot of family antiques had been destroyed in the blaze.
The house previously survived last year’s St Patrick’s Day fires, one of which burnt a portion of the Lake Bullen Merri and Lake Gnotuk foreshores.
Warrnambool’s Crime Investigation Unit and CFA fire investigators inspected the scene and concluded an electrical fault was the likely cause of the blaze.