Couple's lives ruined by fire

A YOUNG Rockhampton couple's lives are in ruins five weeks before Christmas after they came home to discover their house had been destroyed by fire yesterday.

Neighbours noticed smoke and flames billowing from the front windows of the low-set fibro house on Balaclava St shortly before 10am. Emergency services were quickly on scene but were unable to save the home.

"I could see smoke coming from the front room and then we heard the windows blow. It only took about three minutes for the place to engulf," said Brian Smith, who lives nearby.

The young couple that were renting the property were understandably shaken yesterday and declined to comment.

Mr Smith said they had only been living there for about six weeks.

The fire comes less than four days after a blaze destroyed Peter Marshall and Wendy Smith's Talford St home on Sunday night.

Authorities are still determining the cause for both blazes.

Firefighter Bob Efineko, Rockhampton's station officer, said yesterday's blaze originated in the front bedroom. Firefighters had the blaze under control within 10 minutes, but the inside of the house was destroyed.

"At this moment, the cause of the fire is still under investigation by police and fire services," he said.

Mr Efineko said it could take up to two weeks to determine the cause of the fire.

There was nobody inside the home at the time of the fire, however, firefighters managed to rescue a pet budgerigar.

Mr Efineko said the recent blazes were timely reminders of the dangers of fire and the importance of having working fire alarms.

"The best advice we can give people is to make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your house that is checked regularly," he said.



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