A storm approaches as Stanwell resident Dale Connor stands among the debris of her house yesterday, which burnt down early Saturday morning. Mrs Connor and her husband Brendan built this home 28 years ago and now have nothing left of it.
A storm approaches as Stanwell resident Dale Connor stands among the debris of her house yesterday, which burnt down early Saturday morning. Mrs Connor and her husband Brendan built this home 28 years ago and now have nothing left of it. MEGAN LEWIS Ml

Blaze claims Stanwell home

BRENDAN and Dale Connor built this house from the ground up 28 years ago.

Yesterday it was nothing but melted steal, ash and debris.

Gone are this year’s Christmas presents and all of their belongings.

A fire which started on Saturday morning at 5.45 ripped through the Stanwell home so quickly fire fighters could do nothing to save it.

And it wasn’t just Mr and Mrs Connor’s belongings that were destroyed – their daughter and four grandchildren had also been temporarily living with them.

Luckily no one was in the house, a liveable shed, at the time of the fire.

“More than 39 years of married life memories were in there,” Mrs Conner said yesterday, pointing towards the carnage.

“Everything is gone – the whole lot.”

Mr and Mrs Connor were in Blackwater, where Mr Connor works, when they received a call telling them their house was gone.

“It wasn’t until we got back here that we realised how bad it was,” Mrs Conner said.

A Fire and Rescue crew from Gracemere was first to arrive on scene to the Connors Road home – the street is named after Mr and Mrs Connor.

A fire fighter who was at the scene said the home, about 50m x 40m wide, was well alight and had almost extinguished itself when they arrived.

Two crews from Rockhampton also arrived at the scene and water was borrowed from the nearby Stanwell Power Station to refill the trucks.

The cause of the fire has not been established yet, but police do not believe it was suspicious.

Mrs Connor said judging by the damage she estimated the fire to have started around the kitchen area.

But, because they weren’t home, most of the appliances except major ones were switched off.

Yesterday wind from a nearby storm threatened to tear apart bits of steel wall that were still standing.

The entire home was very unstable and dangerous to be near.

“The kids lost all the Christmas presents,” Mrs Connor said.

“We were due to have Christmas here this year too for the first time in many years.

“We are very lucky the work shed didn’t go up too; Brendan has a lot of tools in there.”

Mrs Connor said her home was insured.

Forensic examiners are due to investigate the cause of the blaze today.



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