Solar panel ignites

January 31, 2018

Firefighters on the roof of a Wahgunyah home to inspect the roof cavity after a solar panel sparked a fire.

Fire crews worked for six hours to extinguish the fire near Collendina last Wednesday.

Firefighters were called to a house in Wahgunyah after a solar panel on the roof ignited.

The fire just after 1pm in McDonnell Street on Tuesday, January 23 smouldered away and the occupants put it out before firefighters arrived.
Wahgunyah Fire Brigade Captain Mal O’Halloran said the occupants acted quickly and the fire was out on arrival.
“It smouldered away and didn’t enter the roof cavity,” he said.
Fire crews from Wahgunyah and Rutherglen attended.
Mr O’Halloran said crews inspected the roof cavity but the fire had not spread to inside the roof.
“It’s not common for this to happen but it certainly can happen,” he said.
“It could have got into the installation or the beams inside and set the roof cavity alight but thankfully it didn’t.
“We waited for the power company to arrive to make sure it was safe and then it was up to the electrician to have a look at it. I believe the solar panels were about five years old.”
Mr O’Halloran said he was not aware of any maintenance schedule for solar panels.
There will be an investigation into the cause of the solar panel sparking.

Grass fire near Collendina

A grass fire near Collendina, off Spring Drive and about 17km from Corowa, burnt 6ha of bushland on January 24.

Thick smoke blanketed the area as fire crews worked for six hours to extinguish the fire.
The fire was under control within the first hour and firefighters returned the following morning to monitor the area.
A Rural Fire Service spokesman said northerly winds caused the fire to spread quickly in a southerly direction.
“There were a lot of large trees on fire and the crews had trouble with the timber continuing to light up,” he said.
“It was a big job and they were on scene for at least six hours.”
Six Rural Fire Service units attended and one Fire Rescue unit was on scene.
The cause of the fire is thought to be from a car exhaust but the cause will be investigated.

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