An Elsthorpe homeowner lost precious personal items in a shed fire this afternoon.
The man returned home to find firefighters had extinguished the fire in the shed and largely succeeded in stopping it from spreading to his adjoining home, located at the western end of Elsthorpe Rd, though it did suffer some smoke damage.
But the man, who did not want to be named, said among the badly charred pieces of furniture visible inside the blackened shed were career accolades, trophies, a signed All Blacks jersey, and other items.
"I kept all my memorabilia in there," he said.
The fire sparked a major call out, with at least five fire trucks, two water tankers and more than 20 fire fighters at the scene at one stage.
Assistant Area Commander Nigel Hall said fire crews received the call out at approximately 3pm.
"Initially it was for a shed fire, but on arrival we could see the shed was connected to the house. Quite a severe fire was in progress upon arrival.
"The first to arrive was the Elsthorpe volunteer rural fire force and they've done extremely well, working very hard in [an] initial attack and managed to knock down the severity of the fire until surrounding stations were able to come along and assist. So praise goes out to Elsthorpe for that initial attack and the hard work they done for the first 20 minutes or so."
Hall said though the damage was largely confined to the shed, the interior of the adjoining house did suffer some "minimal" smoke damage.
Despite the rain that afternoon, Mr Hall said the otherwise dry conditions under foot had prompted an "early call" for large response.
"If you look around all the grass is all well cured and early calls make it what we call a second alarm. It's more about the possibility of the fire spreading not only to the house but the surrounding vegetation," he said.