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Sunil Ramroop stands by a scorched washer.

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Sunil Ramroop and his family were enjoying the flicker of the deyas around their home on Divali night when an unusual blaze far bigger than a deya, flared inside a storage building near his home.

They immediately called the Fire Service but the fire officers had difficulty getting to the house at Old Clarke Road because of the traffic along the SS Erin Road.

That was when one of Ramroop’s neighbours Devo Ramroop, jumped on his excavator and began dumping mud on top of the burning building, extinguishing the fire before it could spread to Ramroop’s home.

Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, Ramroop said he and his family would have been homeless if it wasn’t for the efforts of his neighbours.

He said they were able to remove their vehicles before the storage building became engulfed.

“It was a traumatic experience but we are thankful that nobody was hurt and that the house was saved. We want to thank our neighbour Devo for doing what he did because that was what stopped the fire from spreading,” Ramroop said.

Recalling the incident, Ramroop said they lit up the front part of their home for Divali but the area where the storage shed was located was not lit.

“We do not know what caused the fire. I was with my two children Liam (aged 5) and Shreya (aged 13) rocking on the swing and talking when we saw smoke coming from the back of the storage area room which is a separate building about 20 feet away,” Ramroop said.

His wife, Laura, and his parents Shamma and Sankaran Ramroop watched in horror as the building caught fire.

“We lost a lot of garden tools, toys, books, power tools, suitcases, toys, books, blower, pressure washer.

In all our losses could be about $75,000. This was a scary and frightening experience but it showed us how considerate and helpful our neighbours have been to us and we thank them,” Ramroop said.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been ascertained. Penal police are continuing investigations.