Thursday, December 1 2022

A family in Western Australia have been left homeless again after a fire destroyed their rental accommodation overnight, with two young children and three pet dogs saved by the parents’ quick thinking.

Robbie Costa and his partner Christie Edwards said they were back to square one with no place to call home.

The fire broke out after 4 a.m. Thursday in the Albany suburb of Yakamia.

Ms Edwards said she woke up after believing she heard the cat and saw the flames spreading through her daughter’s bedroom.

Her daughters Allyvia, 9, and Piper, 7, were inside.

Mr Costa sprang into action to make sure his two daughters got out safely.

The fire caused catastrophic damage to Albany property overnight.(Provided: Christie Edwards)

He said he then ran through the flames to save his three pet dogs, including two puppies.

No one was hurt.

Mr Costa said neighbors lent him a hose to try and put out the fire, but it had already engulfed the back part of the house.

“[We] tried to turn it off but it didn’t work,” Mr Costa said.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services said four fire crews were deployed after a triple-0 call.

A spokesperson said firefighters arrived at 4:18 a.m. and the fire was extinguished within nine minutes.

The fire is thought to be related to a refrigerator in the back patio.

There was extensive smoke damage to Piper’s bedroom as well as the bathroom and laundry room.

Image of a fire in an apartment building in Albany
The fire caused extensive damage to rental property in Albany.(ABC Great Southern: Briana Fiore)

Mr Costa said firefighters believe the rental should be demolished.

He said he was devastated to have to look for a new home after settling down.

Her family moved into the Albany rental eight months ago after being homeless for three months.

He said they had trouble finding an affordable rental that allowed pets.

“We don’t know where we’re going to go after this…couch surfing pretty much,” he said.

“On the streets, homeless, looking for a place to live…we had nothing before this place.”

Long distance image of a house damaged by fire
The house may have to be demolished due to fire damage.(ABC Great Southern: Briana Fiore)

Mr Costa said his family needed help and urged anyone with a holiday home to consider renting it out to people in need.

Ms Edwards also advocated for emergency accommodation.

“Where are we supposed to go, there’s nowhere to go,” Ms Edwards said.

She worried about how it would affect her young daughters.

The DFES spokesman said the Department for Communities had been contacted.

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