Community rallies after Kandanga Hotel burnt to ground
UPDATE: Distraught owners of the Kandanga Hotel - which burnt to the ground this morning - Doug, Carol and their son John Greensill - have thanked the Kandanga community for rallying around them so quickly.
The devastated trio was comforted with coffee and food after their century-old timber hotel was quickly engulfed in flames after fire first broke out shortly before 5am.
While it is small comfort, the pub is believed to be insured.
Neighbour Sue Wright has told The Gympie Times how she ran to the pub to bang on the door and wake Doug and Carol up, though she had trouble rousing them at first.
Sue was woken up by another elderly neighbour about 4.50am who told her "the pub's on fire".
"I raced down, being the closest person to it and I knew where the publican and his wife slept. So yep I raced in and banged on the door, and just let them know and got them out straight away and (the pub) went up pretty quickly."
Doug and Carol escaped unscathed and just thank God the fire didn't happen in the early hours of Friday morning, when their grandchildren were staying with them in the pub.
Imbil rural fire station caption Mark Clyne said the building was "well involved" by the time his crew arrived on the scene this morning.
"We were the first initial crew that responded and we had some issues with water."
Those issues were sorted by the time more crews from Cooran and Gympie arrived so then water was able to pumped from three trucks and the fire brought under control.
But it was too late for the pub. It was "devastated".
Community shocked by loss of beloved 100-year-old pub
THE Kandanga community has awoken in shock this morning after fire destroyed its beloved 100-year-old pub and community hub.
Fire fighters are still putting the fire out as this story goes online, but there is almost nothing left of the grand old lady that has graced the main street of the picturesque Mary Valley township for just over a century.
Imbil police officer in charge Senior Constable Bill Greer summed it up this morning when he told The Gympie Times, "she's pretty much gone".
Nobody is unaccounted for or has been hurt in the disaster, and the owners, who were the only people in the pub when the fire broke out, managed to escape unscathed. Whether or not the old timber hotel was insured remains uncertain.
The fire is believed to have broken out just before 5am when a neighbour noticed smoke coming from the kitchen.
Snr Sgt Greer said the neighbour immediately raced over and banged on the door of the pub, alerting the two sleeping owners who live at the back of the pub.
Up to five fire crews from Gympie and the Mary Valley attended the blaze, the Kandanga Rural Fire Brigade hall is just 200m up the road.
Snr Sgt Greer said the hotel was the "centre" of the community and would be a devastating loss, especially to those regulars who loved it and spent a great deal of time there.
"There's going to be a few bewildered blokes about 10am today," he said.
It is unsure how the fire started but an electrical fault has been suggested.