Fire wipes out family dream
FIRE gutted a North Rockhampton home yesterday, wiping out the dreams of its new owners, the McBryde family.
Wayne and Sharon McBryde and their two children, James, 4, and Lachlan, 1, were due to return to their gutted home last night after cutting short a visit to relatives in Hervey Bay.
The family's beloved pet, a young cattle dog called Sandy, died in the fire, which started about 10.45am at the Grosskopf Street property.
"They were renovating the house,'' a family member, Leanne Edmistone, said yesterday as she watched firefighters damping down the ruins after bringing the fire under control.
"It's heartbreaking for them. While they had insurance you just can't replace the mementos and photos they had in there.
"They had only been in the house for about four months. "It could have been worse, at least no-one was inside.''
Another family member was looking after the home while the McBrydes were away.
The fire started while he was out of the property and was believed to have been the result of an electrical problem.
Authorities are not treating it as suspicious.
Nearby residents yesterday said they heard a loud explosion shortly before huge flames engulfed the home.
Damian Michel, who lives in a flat about 30m away, was among the first on the scene.
He was one of many who called 000.
Mr Michel said the front window exploded, shattering glass everywhere as he approached the house.
He heard a "big crack'' before flames quickly engulfed the area.
He was heading to get a garden hose to tackle the fire.
"We were confident no-one was home,'' Mr Michel said.
Queensland Fire Service Rockhampton station officer Charlie Fenton said firefighters were on the scene within five minutes of the call and had the blaze quickly under control.
Firefighters remained on site for several hours after the fire, damping down the smouldering remains.