Battery blamed for West Nowra garage fire

A WEST Nowra man has praised Fire and Rescue NSW crews who saved his home after a fire gutted an attached garage in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Around 3.26am Keith Muldoon was awoken by a fire in his garage/workshop in Yalwal  Road.

Mr Muldoon tried to fight the blaze with a garden hose, until fire crews arrived and contained the fire, stopping it spreading into the adjoining house.

“The firies were superb,” Mr Muldoon said.

“They got here so quickly and did an amazing job saving our house.”

At the height of the blaze, two large explosions rocked the area, with Mr Muldoon assuming it was the two plastic petrol tanks on a boat inside the garage.

Mr Muldoon had been charging a lithium battery on an electric pushbike for the first time, and it’s believed it may have caught fire.

The fire quickly took hold of the workshop, which was the home to five years of work he had undertaken, restoring pushbikes and other machinery.

“I lost my eyesight about five years ago and was no longer able to drive, so I got fascinated by pushbikes and started restoring them,” he said.

“People liked them and got me to do more work. I also got into working on mowers and other machinery.

“Everything I had finished was in the garage.

“There was even a 4.3m Quintrex centre console boat in there – it’s all gone.”

He said it could have been much worse, with his dog Buddy also inside the garage at the time of the blaze.

“He’s a bit of a wanderer Buddy, and he has got in trouble before, so we keep him locked up at night,” he said.

“When I came out and opened the back door all I could see was smoke. I couldn’t see him, I called him and thankfully he came out through the door.

“He’s been rubbing his eyes all day, I suppose the smoke got to him.”

On Wednesday afternoon Mr Muldoon made the tough decision to get rid of at least 40 other bikes he had accumulated over the years, which he used for spares.

“No use keeping them now. It’s the end of the road,” he said.

“I suppose with all my bikes, I had got a bit out of hand.”

A caravan, set to be the St John’s Ambulance new first aid post, was parked in front of the garage where Mr Muldoon and suffered heat damage to the rear section, with it lights and rubber seals melting.

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