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Dimboola residents shelter in homes as fire rages for four hours

Date

Caroline Zielinski and Nick Toscano

A raging grass fire that destroyed a house and sent potentially toxic smoke towards a town in Victoria's west took firefighters four hours to contain while residents sheltered in their homes.

Spot fires and embers spat onto neighbouring houses at Dimboola, near Horsham, after the grass fire started shortly before 7pm on Tuesday.

Six fire trucks and other support vehicles battled the blaze at the corner of Faith Street and Nhill Road and an emergency warning issued at 7.30pm warned residents they were in danger and that it was too late to leave.

The fire was contained by 10.55pm and residents were given the all clear, a CFA spokeswoman said.

State Control Centre spokeswoman Andrea Mason said the fire that had engulfed a wooden house had quickly spread, sparking a grass fire.

There were also unconfirmed reports of explosions in the area.

Police spokeswoman Belinda Nolan said reports that a drug lab was inside the house were incorrect.

Dimboola resident Mikaela Zikich said everyone could hear the alarm sound after the house fire broke out.

"We've got the fire brigade here sending out emergency warnings and telling everyone to stay put," she said.

"We're only a small town, but I'm not too worried because we can't see the smoke from where I am."

Ms Zikich said she believed the razed house was not occupied at the time of the fire because the homeowner had died late last year.

The CFA is investigating the cause of the fire.

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