Adelaide teen’s innocent mistake leaves family homeless

·News Editor
·2-min read

A teenager’s innocent mistake has left his family homeless, after an attempt to warm up the house resulted in a fast-spreading fireball.

Around 7pm on Wednesday night, 19-year-old Lachlan Cameron was stoking the fire at the family’s Davoren Park home while his parents were picking up dinner.

After adding a piece of wood and some accelerant, Mr Cameron said the fire erupted and sent a fireball surging towards him like a “dragon’s breath”.

"It didn't really look like it was starting or any embers were in it," Mr Cameron told 7News, saying he decided to add the accelerant to "start it up".

Lachlan Cameron speaks outside his home, which he accidentally set on fire.
Lachlan Cameron accidentally set his house on fire while trying to light the fireplace. Source: 7News

“It just got bigger and bigger. And that’s when I bolted for the towel, tried to hit it with that,” Mr Cameron told 7News.

The teen’s father, Darryl Parker, said his son was “freaking out”.

“I couldn’t really understand him except for the house was on fire,” Mr Parker said. "It's pretty devastating."

The family had lived in the home for 20 years, and most of their belongings were obliterated in a matter of minutes.

While Mr Cameron thankfully escaped unscathed, the family’s three beloved pet galahs were killed in the blaze.

A blackened fireplace, where the fire started.
The blaze erupted out of the fireplace and quickly spread around the home. Source: 7News

The terrifying event comes after a series of house fire in the state, including several believed to be arson attacks.

Fire & Rescue NSW has previously warned about unsafe fire practices, including the use of accelerants both indoors and out.

"When you throw accelerant on to a fire, the fire can follow the vapours back and up to the source such as a hand or full bottle of accelerant in the hand," Fire & Rescue NSW Community Engagement and Development Manager, A/Superintendent Mick Ollerenshaw said at the time.

"The simple rule is don't use accelerants on a fire.”

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