Hoses useless against blaze



CALVIN McPherson was mowing his lawn yesterday afternoon when he saw flames shooting out of the lower part of his Merrill Avenue home.

The 31-year-old North Rockhampton man ran inside and tried to get his bike out of the blaze, but the heat was too much for him.

"I was only in there for a couple of seconds,'' said the distraught man.

"I could not save my bike and ran next door to call the cops.''

In a matter of minutes the fire had engulfed the entire house, and flames rose nearly seven metres above the roof.

Fortunately nobody was in the home when the fire started. But Mr McPherson was still beside himself with grief. "Everything is gone,'' he said.

The fire quickly caught the attention of the entire neighbourhood, as several explosions shot from the house.

As firefighters arrived neighbours attempted to douse the fire with garden hoses.

Three fire units responded to the blaze.

Rockhampton Station Officer Steve Shaw said the home had been gutted.

"It's been totally destroyed,'' he said.

"We are still investigating how it started.''

The fire was controlled within 15 minutes of their arrival.

No other surrounding properties were damaged in the blaze.

But Mr Shaw said if the fire had been left for much longer neighbouring homes would have caught alight.

One neighbour who lives right beside Mr McPherson's home said the fire became fierce in minutes.

"Everyone pitched in and tried to hold the fire back with hoses,'' she said.



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