ACT News


Fire destroys McKellar house

A fire has completely destroyed a McKellar house causing about $350,000 worth of damage and almost claiming the life of one very lucky Staffordshire bull terrier cross dog.

Firefighters arrived at the Moses Place residence to find flames billowing from the front windows and the roof starting to collapse.

ACT Fire and Rescue commander Steve Gibbs said a section of the roof at the semi-detached single level unit collapsed forcing firefighters to retreat from the property several minutes before the entire property was destroyed just after 10am.

Upon arrival, firefighters were met with a distressed Staffordshire bull terrier cross dog who prevented them from fighting the blaze from the back of the house. 

Mr Gibbs said firefighters concentrated on fighting the blaze from the front of the home to avoid the distressed animal, and extinguished the fire withing 25 minutes. 

When the fire was  out the dog could be seen running through the embers of the house and was visibly distressed.


Firefighters knelt outside the front of the property and tried to coax him to safety, but the distressed animal was too anxious.

Eventually, animal rescue workers captured the dog and took him from the rubble before they coaxed him to the lawn outside the property.

Several firefighters remarked that he was "a very lucky boy" as he walked away from the charned ruins of the home.

"Once animal control arrived from TAMS they captured the dog with our assistance and he's now safely with them," Commander Gibbs said.

The dog was taken to RSPCA.

Domestic animal services ranger Adam Miller said the dog did not appear to have sustained any injuries, but was clearly shaken by the ordeal.

The dog was well behaved while being placed in the back of Mr Miller's truck, taking a seat and sticking his snout out for some fresh Canberra air.

Firefighters are now conducting a standard procedure search to make sure no one was in the house before discussion with ACT Housing and the Australian Federal Police begins to determine what happens to the property.

It's believed no one was inside the building.

Firefighters will investigate the cause of the fire with police, but Commander Gibbs was unable to say whether the fire was being treated as suspicious.

Several fire crews fought the blaze after ACT Fire and Rescue received multiple emergency calls from 9:34am.