House fire's heat woke neighbours

THE heat from a house fire next door was so intense it woke Peter Hansen and his wife Michelle from their sleep early Wednesday morning.

From the window of their North Rockhampton home they could see bright orange flames flickering.

It was 12.35am and Mr Hansen said the house was so well alight that nothing could be done to save it.

He couldn't even walk to his side fence without feeling the intense heat from 10m away.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service received more than 10 triple-0 calls to attend the Macaree Street home.

Three fire crews did all they could and extinguished the blaze within 30 minutes but still could not save the high-set rental home.

The tenants, Sandra Thompson and her son William, escaped without injury.

Fire investigator Lee Schneider said all witness reports said the fire had started from under the house.

He said whenever a fire started underneath it led to significant damage.

Wednesday, as Mr Hansen surveyed the damage to his neighbour's home, a smell of burnt wood still lingered in the air.

He said the heat from the fire had shattered a few of his windows and melted an air-conditioner. A television and a drum under the house also melted.

“But as long as no one was hurt, it's all that matters,” he said.

“The tenants are lovely people.”

Mr Hansen had lived in Macaree Street for 28 years and said he had never seen anything so devastating.

Forensic and scenes of crime officers attended the scene and are continuing investigations into the cause.

Initial investigations suggest the fire was not suspicious.


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