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Home with no smoke alarm claims another life

A YOUNG man has tragically died in a Camberwell house fire overnight despite attempts by his housemates to save him.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Brian Whittaker said the 25-year-old man lost his life after becoming trapped inside the burning inferno on Kingsley St early this morning.

Two other people in the house, a male and female aged in their 20s, bravely tried to save their friend but were forced back by flames.

The male resident then ran outside and smashed open the victim’s window in another rescue attempt.

Neighbour Dean Holzer woke to terrified screams.

He woke up his and children and inspected his own home before realising the house beside him was engulfed in flames.

“I saw one male (resident). They were terrified and screaming,” he said.

Mr Holzer described the young household as “friendly” and said they would often greet each other in the street.

“It’s really sad,” he said.

Flames spread through the house as fire crews battle the blaze. Picture: Patrick Herve

Multiple calls were made to 000. Picture: Patrick Herve

Police investigators arrive on the scene. Picture: Patrick Herve

The fire caused extensive damage to the weatherboard home. Picture: Patrick Herve

The young man died in his bedroom where the blaze broke out.

“This is a tragic fire. When someone loses their life like they have, it’s pretty hard,” Cdr Whittaker said.

“One (of the residents) tried to enter the room but were forced back by the heat and smoke.”

The home was not fitted with working smoke alarms.

Investigators are yet to determine the cause of the blaze but suspect it may have been caused by a burning cigarette.

The deceased was a smoker.

Senior Constable Karen Robinson described it was an “accidental death.”

“It’s a terrible situation to have a young person die in circumstances like this,” she said.

A neighbour said the fire was tragic and could have been prevented.

Footage has emerged of the fire which claimed the young man’s life.

The video, captured by a neighbour, shows the crackling flames burning through the side of the weatherboard home and the leafy street lit up with the flashing red and blue lights of emergency service vehicles.

Neighbour captures the moments a Camberwell house was on fire

Neighbour Michael Brady said the man’s death had “hit home”.

“He was about the same age as I am. It is sad to think he was finishing his degree as I am. You can really relate to it,” he said.

“It hits home. It’s tragic.”

Mr Brady said the house was “glowing red” and “hissing” when he emerged from his property two doors over.

The occupants are believed to be international students.

Panicked neighbours called 000 after witnessing the home go up in flames at 12.30am.

“One of the callers suggested that there could be someone trapped inside the house so crews are attempting to do an internal search of the premise in breathing apparatus, while trying to extinguish the fire,” the Metropolitan Fire Brigade said in a statement.

The man’s body was found inside.

Police will be making international calls to notify the family of the victim understood to be from Nepal.

The home, valued at over $2 million, was bought months ago and was due to undergo renovations.

Police said the fire was not being treated as suspicious but are yet to determine the cause.

Police Arson and MFB Fire Investigators will investigate.

The fire took almost 40 minutes to bring under control.

The estimated damage bill is $200,000.

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