AS FLAMES rolled out windows, leapt into the sky and engulfed a Rockhampton home, a family of seven and their frightened pet dog could do nothing but watch on helplessly.
The Rockhampton family were lucky to escape their Murray St home when an inferno took hold of the old weatherboard house yesterday morning.
Senior Sergeant Ralph Faria of Rockhampton police said emergency services were called to the residence just after 7.30am following reports of a house well alight.
"On arrival we found the highset Queensland house pretty much covered," Snr Sgt Faria said.
"By the time we arrived on scene all of the occupants from inside the residence were safely outside and we made inquiries with those persons and identified no other persons were inside the residence.
"At the time there were four children and three adults inside the residence."
Snr Sgt Faria said one child was transported to hospital with burns.
"We've got a four-year-old child in Rockhampton Base Hospital for treatment. He sustained minor burns to his stomach and one of his hands," he said.
Snr Sgt Faria said it appeared fire alarms saved the lives of the seven residents.
"They were lucky to escape. Fire alarms were fitted throughout the residence which alerted one of the adults to fire in one of the bedrooms," he said.
"These old type of weatherboard residences do go up very quickly so it was a very timely reminder to people that fire alarms do save lives."
While investigations are ongoing, Snr Sgt Faria said officials believed the fire was lit by a child.
"Initial investigations have established it appears as though a child may have been the cause of the initial ignition of the fire but those investigations are ongoing," he said.