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Mum and kids lucky to be alive after child's toy destroys house

A mother and her two young children are lucky to be alive after a remote controlled toy car sparked a blaze which burnt down their Western Sydney townhouse.

Firefighters from Yennora and Guildford were called to the Bowden Street property in Merrylands just before 7.20pm on Monday.

“From what I understand, the toy car was in the garage being charged up and then it’s taken hold,” Superintendent Adam Dewberry from Fire and Rescue NSW told Yahoo News Australia.

The burnt and destroyed home after the toy car ignited.
Investigators confirmed the remote-controlled toy car caused the blaze. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW

“Now it doesn’t take long for a fire to take hold in the home, particularly with all modern furnishings, consumables and luxuries that we have with this modern society.

“Particularly like a plastic car that's got some metal and a lot of plastic in it and batteries.”

While firefighters battled the large blaze, adjoining homes came under threat.

Fortunately they were able to stop the fire from spreading, however it completely destroyed the townhouse.

Supt Dewberry says the young family was checked over by paramedics but didn’t need any treatment.

Faulty toy car the cause

Investigators from Fire and Rescue NSW attended the scene on Tuesday morning and confirmed that the remote controlled toy car caused the blaze.

They believe an electrical fault in the battery-powered device, which was on charge at the time, was to blame.

“We’ve seen a number of fires start recently where they'd come off devices that have been charged,” he said.

The roof missing from the home's garage.
An electrical fault in the battery-powered device, which was on charge at the time, is to blame, investigators said. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW

“When you think about some of the things being charged, electric scooters, electric bikes, remote control cars, toys for the kids, iPads, phones, golf carts, golf buggies, the list is endless and they all draw electricity.

“And when electricity is getting drawn, it generates heat and that can just fatigue and wear things out over a long period, or if there's a fault or it's not quite built right for whatever reason, it can also cause problems especially around ignition of fires.”

Tips for safe charging at home

He’s urging all residents to follow some simple fire safety tips.

“Use the appropriate charge that is supplied with the device, don’t leave things on charge, don’t charge overnight, and charge it up in a clear area on non-combustible surfaces, keeping in mind that plastics ignite really quickly, and make sure you have a smoke alarm really close by,” Supt Dewberry said.

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