It was a nerve-wracking wait for 34-year-old Aaron Hatcher this morning as fire threatened to spread to his Maddington home.
Fire crews were rushing to the duplex on Philip Street, but by 6.15am, the adjoining unit was almost gutted.
As heat from the fire shattered windows and burned holes through the roof, all he could do was watch and wait for help to arrive.
Minutes earlier, as Mr Hatcher and his flatmate were about to leave for work, he noticed a smell which he guessed was incense.
Looking through a window, he saw what looked like unusually thick fog.
It was not until he walked outside to investigate that he realised the other half of the building was on fire.
The tenants had already left for work, so Mr Hatcher made a frantic 000 call.
"I was panicking a bit," he said.
"I told the fireys, 'You've got to be quick, you've got to be quick - it's going to get my house.'
"I was hoping it wouldn't catch onto the pink batts because it could have shot straight across to my place."
Firefighters arrived and had the blaze under control by 6.35am.
It caused an estimated $150,000 worth of damage but the flames did not reach Mr Hatcher's home.
"I could feel the heat from where I was standing and I could hear the roof tiles cracking as well," Mr Hatcher said.
"The fire brigade said I'm lucky there's a fire wall between the garages.
"They did a great job."
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.