Just 10 minutes later, area training officer Andrew Davis stands outside the house as it becomes fully engulfed in flame. (Right) In another 10 minutes not much remains.
Just 10 minutes later, area training officer Andrew Davis stands outside the house as it becomes fully engulfed in flame. (Right) In another 10 minutes not much remains. Allan Reinikka

Cigarette burns down house

DROPPING a lit cigarette on a couch can burn down a two-storey house in about 20 minutes.

This was the lesson of the day at a training exercise held on Stanwell Corporation land about 20km south west of Rockhampton yesterday.

About 110 people from the rural and urban Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, the Queensland Ambulance Service, Ergon Energy and Stanwell Corporation watched on as a two-storey house was burnt down.

QFRS area training officer Andrew Davis said crews looked at the hazards associated with house fires, such as gas and electricity, techniques in fighting house fires, how smoke travels through the structure and how quickly fire can travel.

He said crews started the blaze in the partially furnished house by simulating a cigarette falling on a couch in the upstairs living room.

About 20 minutes later, very little was left of the house.

“The opportunity to burn down a house for training can be quite rare. It was a fantastic opportunity,” Mr Davis said.

He encouraged anyone interested in volunteering for the rural fire service to contact the area office on 4938 4736 or visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.



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