A SOUTH Grafton couple have been left struggling to comprehend the loss of their camper van and the realisation of just how close they were to losing their home after a fire in the early hours of this morning.

South Grafton residents Keith and Johanna Wallis awoke at about 1am to the sound of a diesel engine idling and talking outside their Through St home, followed by a bright orange glow.

When Mr Wallis got up to investigate he discovered his camper van, on which he had spent about $8000 in renovations in recent years, bathed in a ball of fire.

"I opened the front door and this massive heat burst came at me," he said.

As the flames leapt up past the house and licked at the cladding he ran downstairs and started to spray the front of the house with the garden hose.

"I knew (the camper van) was gone, I was just worried about the house," he said.

"Flames were going higher than the roof here and I was praying that the house wouldn't go," Mrs Wallis added.

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Aside from some smoke damage, a cracked window and blistered and warped cladding, the house escaped relatively unscathed.

South Grafton Fire and Rescue attended the scene to fully extinguish the blaze, followed by ambulance and police.

Fire fighters told Mr Wallis his garden hose was was most likely the only thing that saved the house.

Police have confirmed they are investigating the cause of the fire, and have asked for anyone with information to phone Grafton police on 6642 0222 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.



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