Family loses everything in house fire
A BRISBANE family of six have lost everything in a fire that completely gutted their home in Brisbane's east only weeks before Christmas.
Senior Sergeant Steven McCartney said the family had initially attempted to fight the fire at the Stewart St, Hawthorne, home, but had to get out of the home before it could fully take hold.
It erupted about 7pm on Wednesday evening
"They're extremely lucky," he said. "With any fire that takes place in the house... it takes hold very quickly. It takes just a matter of minutes before it spreads and engulfs the house, so they're extremely lucky to get out of the house."
Four children all aged around 10 and under, no longer have any possessions, Sen Sgt McCartney said.
"They basically got our with the clothes on the backs, their pet and their children," he said
"Obviously they're very upset, it's very close to Christmas and coming up to school holidays, and they're now without all their personal belongings."
Neighbours from nearby streets were forced to evacuate under the direction of emergency services, as smoke fully engulfed the area.
It's believed there was no damage to neighbouring properties.
"We're going to be holding the house as a crime scene overnight where the Fire Investigation Unit and Scenes of Crime will be conducting investigations to determine this cause," Sen Sgt McCartney said.
Around two dozen firefighters, some kitted out in breathing apparatus, are working to fully contain the blaze.
The house has suffered significant damage to the rear and top floor, with lesser damage to the lower floor as well.
Richard Anderson, a resident who has lived in Stewart St for 20 years, said he had noticed the fire at his neighbour's house before alerting Triple 0.
"I noticed there was quite a significant fire on the back verandah...(and thought) well that's a serious fire," Mr Anderson said.
"I rang Triple 0 and by the time I had finished talking to the operator I heard the sirens."
Mr Anderson said he initially wasn't certain if everyone had made it out of the inferno, however had his mind put at ease after speaking with other Stewart St residents.
"I made my way down the street and quite a few neighbours were there, and after talking to a few of them it was apparent there wasn't anyone inside," he said.
"I think they had plenty of warning and they had an escape route from the other end of the house.
"Anyone who gets out of a fire is very lucky."