ILKLEY resident Tony Anderson said his miniature fox terrier Scooter saved his and his neighbour's life yesterday morning.

The two-year-old terrier woke his owner at 4am by frantically barking in his face and running laps from the bedroom to the front door.

Mr Anderson said Scooter's behaviour was "out of character" and he decided to go downstairs to see what the fuss was about.

He then saw that his next door neighbour's home on Sara Pl, just 100 metres from his doorstep, was ablaze.

"There are only three houses in the neighbourhood, me and another neighbour are the only ones who live here at the moment though," Mr Anderson said.

"My main concern was for the bush because if that caught on fire all our houses would be gone."

Several rural and special operation fire crews worked for an hour to put out the blaze, which was believed to have started inside the home.

The timber and iron house had only been finished the week before and was expected to be handed over to the owners tomorrow.

Mr Anderson said a young family owned the home and were looking forward to moving in.

"Construction started in October last year but the owners have been sitting on the acre for about two years now," he said.

"We are separated by bush but they cleared the land pretty well so I think that saved us a bit.

"It's pretty upsetting this has happened to them when they were so close to moving in."

Mr Anderson said the fire was raging by the time crews arrived.

"I was pretty concerned for the safety of my other neighbour who didn't actually find out about the fire until he saw fire crews at 7am.

"I was pretty nervy myself, watching it go up like that - it probably would have burned for a lot longer and caught the bush on fire if the firies didn't show.

"I suppose it is good to know Scooter was on to it."

Fire crews confirmed the house was unoccupied at the time.



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