Punchbowl house fire: Sydney man Keiron Summers died while trying to put out the blaze at his unit
- Sydney man died trying to put out house fire
- Police warn against attempts to extinguish fires
A man has died after trying to put out a massive fire that engulfed his unit with a fire extinguisher.
Emergency services rushed to Highclere Avenue in Punchbowl in Sydney’s south-west to find a unit engulfed in flames around 10pm on Saturday.
Keiron Summers, 54, was pulled unconscious from the home and treated by paramedics before dying at the scene.
Mr Summers was one of three people inside the house at the time, the other two having managed to escape from the unit while Summers tried to put out the fire.
Keiron Summers, 54, died on Saturday after trying to put out a fire at a unit in Punchbowl, south-west Sydney.
Andrew Shurety, of Fire and Rescue NSW, said Mr Summers was found with soot around his mouth and nose and died after inhaling smoke and potentially toxic gases.
It is understood Mr Summers had taken a fire extinguisher with him upstairs when the fire broke out.
Mr Shurety said it was a ‘vain attempt’ given the scale of the blaze in a stern message aimed at anyone caught in a massive house fire.
“I don’t think people realize that a fire extinguisher isn’t going to put out a fire of this magnitude,” he said. 7News.
“Our firefighters do not enter these premises without breathing apparatus.
“The risk is that if you enter a smoky environment, it only takes a few breaths of this toxic gas for you to lose consciousness and fall to the ground.”
While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Mr Shurety said four lithium-iron batteries were found upstairs.
“Battery fires can start quickly and burn with extreme heat and are difficult to extinguish,” he said.
It is understood Mr Summers attempted to use a fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the blaze, prompting a police warning of the dangers of approaching large fires.
Local resident Diana Jabbour said people had tried to enter the burning unit but “were unlucky”.
“This fire was just catching up…it was so thick and so strong,” she told 7News.
“All you could smell was just ash on your hair and everyone was freaking out.”
Ms Jabbour described Mr Summers as a “handsome man”.
“He welcomed everyone…he was very nice,” she said.
A crime scene has been established and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.