A FAMILY’S narrow escape from a Northcote house fire prompted a Darebin officer to raise concerns about smart meter installation.
Christmas St resident Sophie Tzirozidis hailed her 12-year-old son a hero after he ran to the front of their house, stopped traffic and alerted neighbours to help evacuate his grandfather, Peter, and grandmother, Vicki, before they were overcome with smoke.
“If Peter hadn’t have come running out screaming for help my parents would have died from smoke inhalation because my father’s had a stroke and he can’t walk and my mother couldn’t move because she was in shock,” Ms Tzirozidis said.
“The fire started from the smart meter and the flames spread straight up to the roof.
“There’s nothing smart about smart meters – they’re terrible.”
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade estimated the damage at $300,000.
One brigade officer, who refused to be named because he was opening “a political can of worms”, said this was the third serious fire in Northcote he’d attended in the past six months that started at the smart meter.
He said the power companies were involved in “a massive cover-up” denying responsibility.
“The problem is not with the meter itself but with connecting it to wiring in older houses,” the officer said.
“Unless something’s done (to fix the problem), unfortunately we’ll see a lot more of these fires and we just have to hope no one will get hurt.”
The MFB officer said he’d repeatedly watched power company authorities visiting the houses after the fires and claiming sabotage or other factors were involved to take the heat off them.
HOW MANY STORIES LIKE THIS ARE WE GOING TO SEE?