Emergency services were called to Gallasch Dr, Mt Barker, after reports a house
was ablaze and explosions could be heard in the area about 5.30pm on Tuesday.
Nearby residents were evacuated at the height of the blaze because of the explosions and fears
the fire would spread.
The house was completely destroyed and the damage bill is expected to hit $500,000.
A man who allegedly entered the burnt out house after the fire has been arrested and charged
with being unlawfully on premises.
Police will allege the 26-year-old Mt Barker man entered the house early on Wednesday morning.
He has been bailed to appear in the Mt Barker Magistrates Court next month.
Neighbour Jason Crane-Vincent — whose house backed on to the burning premises — said he was
listening to music with his uncle when he heard a massive explosion.
“I had no idea what it was at first,” he said.
“I just thought, ‘nah that’s no meth lab’ — I just hear gas bottles going bang, bang, bang.
“It sounded like a nuclear bomb.
“My uncle just jumped over the back fence and the guy (who lives at the house) said, ‘call the
“The guy was trying to get back into the house but (my uncle) was like, ‘you’re not going to be able
to save anything — get out of here’.
“The next minute it was like, ‘bang, bang’ and people were hiding behind the back shed.
“The flames were up to 20m high. I was just hoping everyone was OK.
“I watched this whole shed just go bang and blow apart — it was crazy.”
Mr Crane-Vincent said the man who lived at the house was lucky to survive.
Another neighbour — who did not want to be named — said the explosions felt like “bolts of lightning”.
Fire cause investigators are yet to determine how the fire started but have deemed it not suspicious.
A Country Fire Service spokeswoman said firefighters on five CFS trucks stopped the fire from
spreading to neighbouring properties.
“The fire started in the carport and there were reported explosions in the area,” the spokeswoman said.
“All residents have been accounted for.”
Ambulance officers were called to the scene and a woman was treated for cuts.