An electrical fault in the laundry has been confirmed as the cause of the fire that gutted the McCarvill farmhouse on Hastings Road on Sunday.
Eltham deputy chief fire officer Dave Waite says Sean McCarvill is very lucky to have escaped alive.
He was home alone, his 18-month-old daughter staying at his mother's for the night, and was woken by his dogs barking.
"It would have been smouldering for some time," says Dave. "The door of laundry was closed and he would not have seen it. The heat would have built up and gone up through the ceiling and into the roof. From there it goes quickly."
Sean escaped through his bedroom window.