A HOUSE that has been the focus of ongoing hoarding reports and council- and court-ordered clean ups for the past 10 years caught fire on Saturday morning.
Firefighters received a triple-0 call reporting a car on fire at the Windred Street house at 11.06am and were on scene by 11.12am.
It took about two hours to extinguish the blaze.
Orange Fire Brigade station officer Matt Jeffrey said the fire spread into the garage but did not extend into the rest of the house, which received smoke damage.
He said no one was at home at the time and the cause of the fire is being investigated.
Mr Jeffrey said until it was verified no one was inside, firefighters spent time trying enter the house, at one time having to use a ladder and smash a second-storey window to gain access.
“Our efforts to gain access to the premises were hampered by personal items of the owner that were in the driveway,” he said.
“A crew entered from the rear, one for search and rescue and two for fire extinguishing, then we found the fire had spread inside the garage.
“Our firefighting efforts were compromised that there were so many items in the garage, it made it difficult and quite dangerous.”
VIDEO: The Windred Street house ablaze:
As well as making the initial entry difficult, Mr Jeffrey said houses with a lot of items inside also posed greater safety risks to firefighters when they had to enter the dwelling.
“The amount of personal effects increases the danger level for firefighters,” Mr Jeffrey said.
He said the risks involved include the hose getting caught, items falling on firefighters or items collapsing in a fire and blocking pathways to the exit.
However, at the Windred Street fire, Mr Jeffrey said firefighters were able to cut a hole in the garage door and extinguish it from the outside.
Police also attended the fire and have launched a forensic examination into the cause.
NSW Ambulance also attended for firefighter welfare and Mr Jeffrey said he was very thankful to Windred Street residents who supplied fire crews with tea, coffee and sandwiches.