Arson anguish felt by Struck Oil family one year on

Ule Lopez and Brooke Moyle are just grateful that thier pet dogs are ok after a grassfire possibly lit by a man evading police burned right to the back steps of the house at the corner of the Burnett Highway and Leydens Hill Road, Struck Oil. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Ule Lopez and Brooke Moyle are just grateful that thier pet dogs are ok after a grassfire possibly lit by a man evading police burned right to the back steps of the house at the corner of the Burnett Highway and Leydens Hill Road, Struck Oil. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

KYLLIE Moyle will never forget September 17, 2014.

How could the fifth-generation Struck Oil mother ever forget the day an armed fugitive forced her to lock herself inside her own home while her property was set on fire?

"September 17 was a very hard day," Mrs Moyle said.

"I think about that day every day. It has had a big impact on our lives."

Mrs Moyle lost fences, sheds, roof guttering, the family's water tank, toilet, septic, a calf and countless family heirlooms and memories when Adin Joel Cussen allegedly lit a fire that destroyed 20ha of her property. Cussen was subsequently charged with 11 counts of arson in relation to the incident.

Mrs Moyle said while her family had replaced sheds and fences and repaired essential items, they would never be able to replace the memories lost in the deliberately lit blaze.

"We've had the shed replaced and the fences fixed but we didn't have a toilet until March," Mrs Moyle said.

"We were using a port-a-loo until March while our toilet and septic was being fixed.

"It was a pretty scary time and emotionally we are still dealing with the loss of everything.

"We'll never get back the family heirlooms or memories we lost."

The Struck Oil and Mt Morgan area has been the target of arsonists in the past few months, sparking the relaunch of Taskforce Vulcan, a team of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Queensland Police Service and officials targeting arsonists in the Central Queensland region.

Having lived through the devastation arson can cause, Mrs Moyle said anything that could be done by officials to prevent arson and the effects it has on the community was more than welcome.

"I think it's great that they have started targeting arsonists; something has to be done," she said.

"To other people, it might just be a paddock on fire but to us it's feed for our animals burning. If that is taken away by fire, we have to pay for feed.

"Anything that can be done to stop arson and bushfires is great."

Topics:  arson mount morgan siege struck oil

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