MORTLAKE’S Gary Robertson said he heard the fire tearing through his shed before he saw it.
By the time he went outside on Sunday evening, it was already too late to save the shed’s contents, which included a Ferguson tractor and a 1989 Toyota Camry.
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“There were also new drills and angle grinders in there,” Mr Robertson said.
The sole occupant of the Scott Street property said he was in the shed about half an hour before the fire began.
Mortlake Country Fire Authority brigade captain Tony Spoore said the fire broke out at about 8pm on Sunday.
“The shed was pretty much engulfed in fire,” he said.
Between 20 and 25 firefighters from Warrnambool, Noorat and Ellerslie brigades, as well as the Warrnambool Hazmat team attended the blaze.
Mr Spoore said the brigades initially fought the fire through an open window and a door.
The roof and the major structure eventually gave way, allowing the firefighters to gain greater access.
Mr Spoore said the brigades brought the fire under control within an hour, with the clean-up operations lasting an additional two hours.
While the majority of the shed’s contents were destroyed, the majority of Mr Robertson’s budgerigars survived the blaze, with only one dying due to smoke inhalation.
“We couldn’t save the tractor, but we saved the budgies,” Mr Spoore said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.