Renter 'shocked and scared' after property 'bursts into flames' during open inspection

There were eight people viewing the Sydney property when the flick of a switch triggered 'sparks and flames' to come from ceiling, sending people running.

Smoke coming from roof of Lindfield rental property in Sydney during an electrical fire.
A rental property in Sydney's Lindfield 'burst into flames' during an open inspection, causing people to flee. Source: Supplied

An Aussie renter has detailed her terrifying experience at a property inspection this week, admitting she's "still shocked and scared" after the house caught fire while she and others were inside.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, was one of eight present at the Sydney property during the open inspection on Saturday when, after a light was switched on, the house allegedly "burst into flames".

"When another prospective tenant turned on the lights in the bathroom, there was an explosion — the glass of the lamp shattered, sparks went everywhere and big flames started to come up from the ceiling," she told Yahoo News Australia.

"Immediately the roof above the bathroom caught fire and we all ran outside. It was very scary, I'm still shocked, I'm just glad we all made it out safely".

The woman was visiting the Lindfield property, in Sydney's Upper North Shore, with her husband at the time. Thankfully her kids were at a friend's place, she said.

Emergency services parked along Bent Street, Lindfield after house fire.
Emergency services were called to the property after 'flames and sparks' started coming from the roof. Source: Supplied

The agent, from The Marshall Group, allegedly remained inside "trying to switch off the electricity" before calling the owner who "came running". The Sydney woman said it's "appalling" that people's lives were put at risk going to inspect a house.

"I mean, it would be the least to do to make sure a house is in good order before sending in people without protection — what about the elderly or children?" she said, noting the $1250-a-week property listing is still active online.

Electrical fire likely to blame

Pictures shared on social media show smoke billowing from the roof as firefighters rushed inside. At least two fire trucks and several police cars arrived at the scene. It's believed an "electrical fault" caused the explosion.

Yahoo News Australia contacted NSW Fire and Rescue and the property manager for clarification. A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed, "Emergency services were called just after 9.30 yesterday to the home on Bent Street for reports of a fire".

Rental property newly renovated

Photos from the listing show a newly renovated home with a fresh white kitchen and well-maintained bathroom — believed to be where the fire first occurred.

"It looks like they went through so much effort renovating the house. It’s either dodgy work that caused the fire or it was just old, " one person suggested on social media.

White kitchen and bathroom inside Lindfield rental property.
Images from the online listing show a newly renovated kitchen and well-maintain bathroom, where the fire occurred. Source:

The Sydney renter questioned, "how is it legal to put a property on the market that is dangerous to live in?". Others agreed it's "absolutely crazy" sharing their relief that no one was harmed.

"Take it as a positive that it happened now before anyone invested in moving into the house," one said. "I’m sure the right house will become available for your family."

"That does sound like an ordeal, but I'd not necessarily blame the landlord for being negligent. Electrical faults do occasionally happen, which is a great reason for everyone to have insurance," another said.

What are the requirements for electrical works in rental properties?

According to NSW Fair Trading, 40 per cent of house fires in NSW homes each year are caused by electrical faults and electrical appliances.

"Any electrical fault in a rental property either before or during a tenancy would be considered an urgent repair," the website treads.

A property condition report must state whether there are any visible hazards relating to electricity. This includes any loose or damaged electricity outlet socket, loose wiring or sparking power points. It must also include whether there are safety switches and confirmation that they are working, which can only be known if a test has been done.

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