LAKES CREEK BLAZE: Firefighters work to extinguish a grass fire near Barkers Road.
LAKES CREEK BLAZE: Firefighters work to extinguish a grass fire near Barkers Road. Russell Prothero ROK230217cfire8

Neighbours band together to battle Lakes Creek fires

FIRST the power started flickering, dropping in and out.

Then came the sound of an explosion and loud buzzing.

When Louise and Geoff Prothero walked outside their Montgomerie St home, they were faced with fire.

Ergon Energy workers repair damaged power lines in the Lakes Creek area after a fault caused multiple fires.
Ergon Energy workers repair damaged power lines in the Lakes Creek area after a fault caused multiple fires. Russell Prothero

"The bang and this unexplained buzzing and noise freaked us a bit,” Louise said.

"We ran outside and all we could see were fires up and down the street and power lines down everywhere, broken and singed from one end of the street to the other.”

Ergon Energy this afternoon confirmed this fire, and several others in the Lakes Creek area, was sparked by a tarp which blew up from the road onto conductors near Teys Australia.

Montgomerie Street residents extinguish a grass fire which was one of several started in the area by fallen power lines.
Montgomerie Street residents extinguish a grass fire which was one of several started in the area by fallen power lines. Louise Prothero

This caused a fault current which became a fireball, according to a statement from an Ergon Energy spokesperson.

Louise said there was no option but to start fighting the fires themselves once they saw them spreading, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews responding to other blazes.

Geoff got to work immediately, grabbing a shovel to tackle spot fires.

The neighbourhood soon joined forces to fight the flames in a vacant lot and stop them spreading to a nearby house, where the only person home was a teenager who had armed herself with a hose.

"There was one house in particular we had to make sure it didn't get to,” Louise said.

When Louise spoke to The Morning Bulletin, they were still without power and relying on generators left over from Cyclone Marcia.

"There's a lot of damage and they (Queensland Fire and Emergency Services) are still chasing up spot fires everywhere,” she said.



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