Firefighter Kent works overtime
AS off-duty firefighter Kent Barron drove to hire a DVD on Saturday morning his training immediately kicked in at the sight of smoke.
When thick smoke was billowing from 90 George Street at 9.30am, Mr Barron parked his car and ran towards the house to make sure no one was trapped inside.
He then rang triple-0, along with many other frantic neighbours, and located a fire hydrant as fire and rescue crews arrived.
A fire had started behind the refrigerator in the kitchen.
Mr Barron had finished night work at 8am and came across the fire while driving with his partner.
He said he wanted to make sure no one was trapped and assisted the fire crews when they arrived.
“There were a few little things I could do, before they arrived, to help them out, like finding the fire hydrant and taking the cap off.”
When the crews arrived, firefighters had to knock down the front door with a sledge hammer and two crew members, wearing breathing apparatus, entered first.
The fire had quickly spread to the roof, through the kitchen, and into the dining room.
But firefighters managed to control it before it reached any further.
It took three fire trucks and 10 firefighters to extinguish the blaze, many of whom showed obvious signs of heat stress.
Some of the roofing iron was pulled away to fight the fire from the roof.
A number of crew were assessed by Queensland Ambulance Service after the fire was extinguished at 10.30am.
Queensland Fire and Rescue station officer Brett Polini yesterday said an investigation determined the fire ignited because of an electrical fault in the refrigerator.
The house, owned by the Queensland Police Service as a Community Supporting Police house, was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
The damage was contained to the kitchen area but the rest of the house suffered significant smoke and water damage.
Naomi Lucas and her dog Scruffy were visiting a friend who lived in the set of flats next door when she smelt smoke.
“I thought someone was welding or something, so I went downstairs to check,” she said.
“Then I saw smoke coming through the roof of the house next door and I yelled, ‘Someone call the fire (brigade) – the house next door is on fire.’ ”
Another neighbour said she heard Ms Lucas’s screams and also dialled triple-0.
“I heard people screaming and saw the smoke, so I called triple 0,” the neighbour said.
“I was shaking like a leaf.”
While crew battled the flames, a high-volume of highway traffic, in both directions, was stopped for an hour.