Firefighters in Balclutha were called to a house fire on Clyde St early this morning.
Balclutha Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief Terry Michie said two fire trucks from Balclutha and one from Kaitangata were called out at about 4:30am and about 20 firefighters were at the scene.
The two adults and two children in the house got out safely and the smoke alarm was activated, Mr Michie said.
Southern region fire risk management officer Stuart Ide said the fire was accidental, with the most likely cause a process known as pyrolysis, which in this case involved timber near the fireplace decomposing over several years before igniting.
Mr Ide said the blaze started in the hearth in the lounge, before moving up into the ceiling cavity and down into a flat in the basement.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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