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Real Estate Agent Accidentally Burned Down $2 Million Property Ahead of Open House by ‘Tidying Up’

Sydney real estate agent Julie Bundock was taken to court after accidentally starting a fire in a home estimated to be worth just under $2 million

<p>Fire and Rescue NSW Station 006 Mona Vale/Facebook</p> A Sydney real estate agent was taken to court after accidentally burning down a four-bedroom house.

Fire and Rescue NSW Station 006 Mona Vale/Facebook

A Sydney real estate agent was taken to court after accidentally burning down a four-bedroom house.

A Sydney real estate agent has been taken to court after she accidentally caused a fire in an open house property.

Real estate agent Julie Bundock allegedly burned down a house as she was preparing to show it to potential buyers in May 2019. The home is estimated to be worth just under $2 million and her employer, Domain Residential Northern Beaches, is now being ordered to pay more than $554,400 (USD) in damages.

According to news.com.au, Bundock had been preparing for an open house at property owner Peter Alan Bush's four-bed home on Riverview Road in Avalon Beach, when she spotted that the current renters had left some bedding out on the deck to dry.

Per the outlet, Bundock threw the sheets onto a shelf below before turning on a light above them. The sheets ended up catching fire due to the heat from the light.

<p>Fire and Rescue NSW Station 006 Mona Vale/Facebook</p> A Sydney real estate agent was taken to court after accidentally burning down a four-bedroom house.

Fire and Rescue NSW Station 006 Mona Vale/Facebook

A Sydney real estate agent was taken to court after accidentally burning down a four-bedroom house.

Related: Cara Delevingne’s L.A. Home Engulfed by Massive Fire That Caused Roof to Collapse: 'My Heart Is Broken'

Bush's home and its contents were destroyed in the blaze, leading to the property owner and the four people renting the home at the time taking Bundock to court.

On Tuesday, Bush claimed in court that Bundock told him, "Oh my God Pete, I think I have burnt down your house." He also asserted that his de facto partner, Lynne Emanuel, was present when she said it.

“I had been doing some tidying up. I collected some sheets drying on the veranda and threw them on top of a freestanding metal shelving in the bedroom under the stairs. I just threw them there Pete, right up against the light on the wall. I think that’s what started the fire,” Bundock allegedly told the owner, according to the outlet.

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According to the news site, Chief Judge in Equity Justice David Hammerschlag ruled that Bundock “actively created the risk of fire and the consequent harm," and ordered Domain Residential Northern Beaches to pay Bush an estimated $483,210.

The agency was also ordered to pay a combined amount of around $79,244 to the four renters who lost their belongings in the fire. The company was then told by the judge to pay the combined interest on the total amount of approximately $562,527, which has accrued from the time of the incident in May 2019.

Domain Residential Northern Beaches did not immediately respond when contacted by PEOPLE for comment.

<p>Fire and Rescue NSW Station 006 Mona Vale/Facebook</p> A Sydney real estate agent was taken to court after accidentally burning down a four-bedroom house.

Fire and Rescue NSW Station 006 Mona Vale/Facebook

A Sydney real estate agent was taken to court after accidentally burning down a four-bedroom house.

Related: Cara Delevingne Confirms Her Cats Survived Massive Blaze That Engulfed Home, Thanks Firefighters

“That a fire might be caused by putting or throwing bedding up against a burning light is obvious. That risk was plainly foreseeable, and Bundock ought to have known this,” Hammerschlag said, per the outlet. “Her evidence was clearly colored by a heightened awareness that she had caused the catastrophe.”

Domain Residential Northern Beaches pointed out that the property owner nor the renters mentioned that the light might heat up the shelf.

“The submission is made in the context where none of the plaintiffs could have possibly or remotely conceived that Bundock might do what she did,” Hammerschlag responded, per the outlet. “There was no occasion which could reasonably have called for the suggested disclosure. Bundock acted on her own motion. Her actions were the sole cause of the harm."

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