Rockhampton house fire

Family mourns historic home loss

NOEL Cain's grandfather built their family home at 5 George Street 114 years ago.

It took just minutes for fire to destroy it, and Noel's memories, on Monday night.

Yesterday, an exhausted and homeless Noel told The Morning Bulletin he didn't know where to turn to start getting his life together.

Noel, a justice of the peace, was having dinner at a friend's place on Monday night when he answered a call from police around 11.30pm.

He raced home to find his street blocked off and full of fire engines, police cars and people running around.

Noel's two-storey home was engulfed by flames that witnesses say washed over the street like a scorching red blanket.

“I just looked at it and went, 'Blimey',” Noel said.

Inside was everything he owned - from photographs to clothes, furniture and 114 years of history.

The house, which was built in 1895, burned to the ground before fire crews could extinguish the blaze.

Almost a year ago, Noel was counting his blessings when his neighbour's home was destroyed by a fire.

Yesterday morning, Noel was at Centrelink receiving money to buy new clothes and a feed.

“I've had better days but I'm not down and out yet,” he said.

“It's hard.

“Right now I've got to get myself so I can actually live. I've got nothing.

“I've got to go buy some clothes, some creature comforts.

“Right now the main thing on my mind is that I'm going to have a beer and a big feed.”

Noel CainNoel's home is now the subject of a police investigation.

It will be bulldozed. The property carried some home and contents insurance.

“Everything I own was in there, absolutely everything,” Noel said.

“I've lost the lot.”

Noel was living at the home with his son, who was working out west on Monday, and two dogs.

His dogs, Ali and Bobby, were rescued by a neighbour who kicked down the house gate to unleash one of the pets.

Noel hadn't slept a wink since the fire but yesterday found time to thank the fire brigade, police and neighbours for their help.

“I'm quite overwhelmed with how nice everyone was,” he said.



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