A faint bleep could still be heard from the smoke alarm which Debbie Medland says saved her life when the grandmother of two returned to her fire-ravaged home on Monday.
Ms Medland, 56, had been living in the Rangeway property a week before it was deliberately set on fire last Saturday.
The blaze at the Hardman Street unit and the torching of a utility vehicle, just a few doors down, both occurred about 3.50am.
Ms Medland recalled awaking to the sound of the smoke alarm in the early hours.
Disorientated, she thought the house alarm was triggered by a burglary.
She said she only realised her house was on fire when she saw a red glow in the upper wall adjacent to where the blaze was started in a shed.
“I can just remember running around trying to get the keys to get out,” she said.
“I could hear it (the fire) in the roof and the noise of the roof starting to fall in.” Ms Medland’s son Jason Machin, who bought the property for his mother a week earlier, said it might have to be demolished.
The fire took hold of most of the roof, bringing down trusses and plasterboard throughout the kitchen and living area.
Most of the walls were damaged by smoke and the flames.
The door to the shed where the fire started was kicked in, Mr Machin said, and items were believed to have been stolen.
Ms Medland said she would have even given the burglars something if they had only asked.
“If they needed something, knock on the door and I could have given them a dollar or a piece of bread but don’t go and burn the place down,” she said.
Ms Medland said the culprits had no conscience.
“I’m sad to think that they would do that (start the fire). How many people they have hurt in the process?,” she said.She “felt sick” to see the unit in such a sorry state, but was thankful to have gotten out alive.
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