Muster campers, sponsors and organisers rallied around to set up a new camp for Leanne and John Chapman from Brisbane, who lost most of their camping gear in a gas fire.
Muster campers, sponsors and organisers rallied around to set up a new camp for Leanne and John Chapman from Brisbane, who lost most of their camping gear in a gas fire. Renee Pilcher

Muster family helps blaze victims

IT WAS touch and go there for a while.

John Chapman held his breath while his wife Leanne decided whether to stick it out at the Muster after their campsite burned down last week.

Luckily, Mrs Chapman could not refuse the generosity of fellow campers, Muster organisers and sponsors, who rallied together to set up a new camp for the couple so they wouldn’t miss their seventh Gympie Muster.

Mrs Chapman had been changing the gas bottle on their camping fridge when a random spark, suspected of being triggered by nylon clothing, caused an explosion. She was taken to hospital to be treated for minor burns on her face and arms. She has been recovering well since the accident last Wednesday.

Back at camp after a return trip to their Brisbane home for replacement supplies, Mr and Mrs Chapman thanked the “extended Muster family” for all the support.

“While we were away in Brisbane a hat was passed around and we now have an igloo shelter and some cash to spend on new camping gear,” Mr Chapman said.

“The Muster family is something people don’t understand unless they experience it.

“We are extremely grateful to the Muster Ltd crew. They have been fantastic. Firstly, we were put up in Amamoor BandB, then they organised a Johnno’s Camper Trailer and two tents from Tent City to allow us to continue our 2011 Muster experience.”

Mrs Chapman says she would always be wary about gas bottles from now on.

“I’m not going to touch it,” she said with a laugh of relief.

“I just got away in time. There must have been a ball of flame because my whole head was singed.”

The gas inspector ruled the fire as an accident and insurance on the Chapman’s camping equipment has already been paid.

“It was a freakish thing. We think the nylon shirt I was wearing created static electricity and sparked the fire,” Mrs Chapman added.

Their Eva Kool esky that survived the blaze is now hanging on the company’s wall of fame after it survived the fire, keeping the beers cold and still on ice. It was replaced with a new esky at no extra cost to the Chapmans.

Gympie Times


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