Elderly Ocean Grove woman flees blaze. Fire wrecks home

Alex de Vos
An elderly Ocean Grove woman is homeless after a house fire early yesterday morning.
Eileen Bonner was yesterday staying with family at Marcus Hill after the fire gutted her Lowe Street home.
Neighbour Chris Dickeson woke to find Ms Bonner knocking on his front door.
“She came to the front door and said ‘get your babies and go’,” Mr Dickeson said.
“So we got our kids out of the house and the whole street was out the front.”
Mr Dickeson called emergency services, with fire trucks arriving in minutes.
“Four fire trucks arrived within about eight minutes, they were fantastic,” he said.
Mr Dickeson said Ms Bonner was “in a bit of a shock”.
“Eileen was in a daze, she couldn’t remember her name or her family’s name,” he said.
“The smoke must have woken her up.”
Mr Dickeson said he feared for his family’s safety while 10-metre high flames engulfed Ms Bonner’s home.
“Our daughter was sleeping in the room right next to the fire,” Mr Dickeson said.
“It was scary.”
Neighbour Joan McKenzie watched in shock as Ms Bonner’s house turned to smoking rubble.
“I heard an explosion and I thought it was my house that was on fire,” Ms McKenzie said.
“I was a bit scared.”
Ocean Grove Fire Brigade captain Bob Smith said the 2.30am fire left the home uninhabitable.
Mr Smith said 25 firefighters spent about 30 minutes to control the blaze and another hour and a half to have it extinguished.
No one was injured.
“It’s not suspicious and we don’t know the cause of the fire but we’re investigating it,” Mr Smith said.

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