ONLY a few months after construction was completed a pre dawn fire that may have been the work of an arsonist has ripped through a two story public housing town house at Bowenfels.
Investigators suspect the fire was deliberately lit and have been probing the rubble in the search for clues.
Neighbours raised a Triple 0 alarm shortly before 5am on Thursday after they noticed the town house on fire in the near new complex at the intersection of Stewart and Page Streets.
A team from Lithgow West fire station was on the scene within eight minutes of the call but the building was already an inferno.
The firefighters quickly evacuated all residents from the adjoining residences into the freezing night air while they battled the blaze.
They were quickly joined by Fire and Rescue crews from Lithgow, Wallerawang and Mt Victoria stations who despite the intensity of the blaze were able to prevent the spread to the remainder of the complex.
Once the flames were brought under control firefighters in breathing apparatus entered the smoke filled town house to ensure no one had been trapped.
The concerns arose after emergency service members were told that since the previous tenants moved out recently there had been issues with a young woman occasionally ‘squatting’ in the premises.
She was subsequently found safe and well with friends at Wallerawang.
The town house was left a charred shell and the remains will almost certainly have to be demolished.
Read what investigators had to say about the fire in today's edition of the Lithgow Mercury.