Family safe after house fire

TEN people, three dogs and numerous cats escaped unhurt after their family home caught fire early yesterday morning.

Neighbours told the NewsMail that two families were living in the house on Mariners Way, North Bundaberg, which went up in smoke after a blaze took hold about 1am.

Their home was left a burnt-out shell after the flames were put out, with the front of the building gutted and severe smoke damage to the rest of the house, including the kitchen and bathroom.

Next door neighbour Jasmine Maas said she was woken by yelling as the flames took hold.

“A young boy was screaming, ‘the kittens are inside’,” Mrs Maas said.

“I saw flames billowing up, and woke my husband up to get the hose.”

She said she could hear the windows popping in the heat, as firefighters arrived to bring the fire under control.

“The kids were upset about the animals, because they have three dogs and some cats that were in there,” Mrs Maas said.

But luckily, all the animals escaped unharmed.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Bundaberg station officer Glenn Gifford said firefighters were called to the blaze about 1.15am, after a Triple-0 call from the residents.

“The fire started in a garage, but the cause is unclear at this time,” Mr Gifford said.

He said it appeared the garage was being used as a bedroom, with three sets of bunks and other furniture in place.

The heat of the fire was so fierce it melted light fittings from the walls and ceilings, even at the furthest point from the flames.

“It was well involved when the crews arrived,” Mr Gifford said.

“All 10 occupants of the house were accounted for when they got there.”

Three fire engines with 12 crew members managed to douse the flames in about 20 minutes.

Fire Investigators from Queensland Fire and Rescue and Bundaberg Police attended the scene yesterday to conduct investigations.

“Police are still investigating the cause,” Mr Gifford said.

The house was fitted with hard-wired smoke alarms, and nobody was hurt.

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