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Fierce blaze engulfs Malvern home

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11 Mar 2013
The home of a known hoarder has been destroyed in a fierce blaze, leaving a $700,000 damage bill.

The elderly male occupant was lucky to escape injury when his single-storey weatherboard house erupted in flames on Monday.

The blaze in Grant St, Malvern East, started just after 2pm with only a small amount of smoke sighted.

When the first of several MFB crews arrived just four minutes later, the entire house was alight with flames almost reaching to houses on either side.

An intense effort by firefighters over the next hour eventually succeeded in preventing both nearby properties from succumbing to the radiated heat.

Unfortunately, little could be done to save the house where the fire started with hoarding intensifying the fire load and making containment of the blaze and extinguishment all the more difficult.

Surrounding residents were evacuated for their safety and a council building surveyor has been called in to determine the structural integrity of two chimneys that are threatening to collapse onto neighbouring properties.

A specialist investigator is currently trying to determine the cause of the fire that took just over an hour to control.

One firefighter was taken to Cabrini hospital and scans later revealed that he has a broken bone in his lower leg.  The damage bill has been placed at more than $700,000.

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