Close call

BUSINESS owners joined firefighters on New Year’s Eve to fight a blaze that came within a couple of metres of factory units in Bibra Lake.

The fire started in bush around South Lake (the actual lake, not the suburb) around 5.30pm on New Year’s Eve and within half an hour was threatening units along Sustainable Avenue.

Ed Khoury was at his daughter Victoria’s house ready to babysit his grandkids that evening when he noticed smoke suspiciously close to his engineering business Form Designs and went to investigate.

“The next thing I know is mum is calling me and saying ‘you’ve got to get up here, you’ve got to get the server’… it’s got everything on it,” Ms Khoury later told the Herald.

As DFES firefighters arrived Mr Khoury grabbed a garden hose to put out spot fires sparked by embers crossing the road from South Lake reserve and landing on the verge of the semi-industrial units.

Although the blaze only burned out one hectare of bushland, the heightened tensions created by the infernos over east was probably evident by the presence of two water bombing helicopters and a swag of fire trucks, parks and wildlife staff and even Cockburn council rangers.

DFES says the fire was believed to have been deliberately lit and police say they’re looking for a man with a beard and a grey shirt who was seen riding through the area and taking photos of the fire.

by STEVE GRANT

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