The man who died in a fire at an Adelaide retirement village overnight has been identified as 83-year-old Trevor Fielden, with the site’s operator saying the blaze was likely sparked by a mobility scooter battery that was left charging overnight.

Key points:

  • An 83-year-old man was found dead after a fire destroyed two units at Hillcrest
  • A woman escaped with minor injuries
  • Investigators said the fire was not deemed suspicious

Tributes have flowed for Mr Fielden, who died at the scene at Crestview Retirement Village at Hillcrest in Adelaide’s north-east.

His wife Grace, 81, escaped the inferno with minor injuries.

Emergency services were called to the site on Fosters Road at about 10:15pm on Monday, and found two units in a group of three ablaze.

Metropolitan Fire Services (MFS) said it took firefighters an hour to put out the blaze and prevented a third adjoining unit from catching fire.

Police said an 83-year-old man died at the scene, while an 81-year-old woman was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with minor injuries.

In a statement, the village’s operator Aveo said it was “saddened to confirm that a resident” had died, and that “our thoughts are with their family at this very sad time”.

“An investigation is underway,” chief executive officer Tony Randello said in a statement.

“However, early reports from first responders indicate the fire was caused by a mobility scooter battery that was charging overnight.”


The MFS has said it was still investigating and are yet to definitively determine the cause of the blaze.

Expressions of condolence have been shared on the Facebook page of the Prospect Broadview Bowling Club (TBBC), where Mr Fielden played.

“It is with a heavy heart we acknowledge the sudden passing of Trevor Fielden,” one post stated.

“Trevor, you will be missed by all at PBBC.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Grace as she recovers in hospital. Condolences to Trevor’s family and friends.”

Others also paid tribute to Mr Fielden as a “very friendly gentleman” who was “well respected by all”.

“One of life’s true gentlemen, it was a privilege to have known and played bowls with you,” one tribute stated.

MFS incident controller Chris Attick told ABC Radio Adelaide that Mr Fielden’s wife Grace escaped the inferno before firefighters arrived.

“The fire did spread to two units and our crews attacked the fire from multiple fronts,” Mr Attick said.

“Due to the heat and the intensity of the fire, fire crews were unable to penetrate into the structure to undertake search and rescue but we prevented fire from spreading to a third unit.

“We’ve since discovered unfortunately that there was one person deceased in one of the units.”

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined. (ABC News: Gladys Serugga)

Neighbour Lorraine Fransson woke up to people knocking on windows and doors and yelling, “Get out. Get out now.”

“It was well alight. The flames were going way up in the air,” she said.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined but investigators said it was not suspicious.

Police are preparing a report for the coroner regarding the man’s death.

The damage to the units is estimated to be worth $250,000.

Posted , updated