As a Bathurst-based firefighter tried to control the blaze in the apartment above Cafe Latte last week, the floor beneath him gave way.
But rather than spontaneously crumbling, said senior firefighter Phil Pedley from Orange Fire Station, it appeared as if a chunk of the floor of the apartment "flopped down", allowing the firefighter to break his fall by sliding.
Investigations into the floor collapse and the cause of the fire are continuing.
"In an actual fall through a floor there's not much you can do," said firefighter Pedley.
"From what I've been told a piece of floor flopped down and the fireman was able to slide down the floor.
"He slid more than fell [into Cafe Latte] and I think that's why he's a lucky boy ... he walked away without a scratch.
"If it had been an actual fall it would've been a bit different, I think."
Crews from across the district arrived to help as the blaze took hold on Easter Monday, including firefighters from Bathurst.
The firefighter who started on level one and wound up on the ground floor is a "retained member", meaning he is not on staff working out of the station in Bathurst but on-call.
His name cannot be released due to privacy reasons.
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Firefighter Pedley said sometimes there is advance warning of a floor collapse "like strange noises, or you see gaps appearing against the walls".
"But other times it just happens and you get caught unawares."
State MP Phil Donato has lobbied for Orange to have greater access to aerial fire fighting equipment.
Firefighter Pedley said he was unsure if aerial equipment would have been useful during the fire above Cafe Latte, but said "the incident controller on the day didn't call for one so that says it wasn't really required".
He added: "But in saying that, if we'd have had a fire in Sydney of the same type we'd have had a couple of aerials, a couple of rescue trucks, a Hazmat vehicle and umpteen dozen fire trucks.
"Out here in Orange we do the job with sometimes one or two trucks.
"It's the difference between working in the city and the country."
Cafe Latte's Aaron Wright said the front two-thirds of the cafe were badly damaged during the incident.
A pop-up Cafe Latte will open this month at Orange Uniting Church, behind the cafe.
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