LUCKY ESCAPE: Lismore firefighters said a resident had a very lucky escape when burning embers fell under their house, filling it with smoke.
LUCKY ESCAPE: Lismore firefighters said a resident had a very lucky escape when burning embers fell under their house, filling it with smoke. Cathy Yeulet

Faulty fireplace almost sets Lismore house on fire

FIREFIGHTERS have said a timber home in Lismore was lucky not to have caught on fire after burning embers fell under the house and filled the home with thick smoke.

Fire & Rescue NSW Lismore station officer Ian Grimwood said a crew was called out on Sunday night after reports that a house was full of smoke.

"On arrival our crew found that a faulty fire tray meant that hot ashes and burning embers were falling straight under the house,” he said.

"One of the firefighters had to get under the house with a shovel and remove them.”

Mr Grimwood said the tray the fire sat on was old and rusted through.

He said it appeared the tray was designed to slide out and allow cold ashes to be dumped down a hole, but it was not designed to cope with live embers.

Mr Grimwood said this was probably the first fire of the season for the home-owner and they were lucky it was not the last.

"So under the house were these hot embers and ashes, the resident was lucky the whole house did not get set alight,” he said.

"It's a warning to home owners, please check your fireplaces and your flues and get your chimney swept.”