Senior Firefighter Fraser Remington described the force of a fire that destroyed a townhouse at Jewells on Tuesday as "unsurvivable".
"Flames were roaring out of every window and doorway and through the roof," he said.
"We were extremely concerned that people may still have been inside, but to our relief we quickly received word that the occupant had managed to get out earlier. We fought the fire externally, it was much too dangerous to enter. With the intensity of the flames we knew the roof could collapse at any minute."
The crew from Tingira Heights concentrated on subduing the fire and stopping its spread. Their quick actions saved the adjoining townhouses. They were supported by 11 other Fire and Rescue NSW firefighting appliances. It took several hours before the blaze had been fully extinguished.
Mayfield West fire crew attended a fire at Tighes Hill on Thursday, where a scented candle had ignited a mattress. Station Officer Bevan Shearer said the residents were alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm. He pointed out that burning candles should never be left unattended, and that they were a common cause of house fires.
"Candles can easily blow over or ignite nearby materials such as curtains. The results are devastating. Anyone who has seen the aftermath of a house fire would think twice about using candles in the home," he said.