ACCIDENTAL BLAZE: Father and pets evacuated from house fire on Woodford Way at Norman Gardens.
ACCIDENTAL BLAZE: Father and pets evacuated from house fire on Woodford Way at Norman Gardens. Allan Reinikka

Angle-grinder was the cause of Norman Gardens house fire

AN irremovable screw in a dog's water-bowl filler was the likely cause of a "toxic" blaze that destroyed David Schmidt's Norman Gardens home yesterday.

That's what David claims started a garage fire that quickly spread to his house and almost damaged the entire property in scorching temperatures.

David, who has lived in the Woodford St house for about six years, told The Morning Bulletin he was trying to clean his dog's automatic water bowl filler but he couldn't remove a screw in the contraption.

So he used an angle-grinder.

After he left the garage for about 20 minutes, he could smell smoke. The flames followed shortly after.

"It must have been sparks from the angle-grinder that caused the fire," he said.

At the time, David's father, the pet cat and two cockatiels were inside the house.

Rockhampton ambulance officers quickly evacuated David's father from the house, before the fire spread.

Another officer cradled the cat in her arms and rushed it to the ambulance as well.

Passing cars didn't make fire and police officers' jobs easy.

A female police officer advised people not to go near the house, or neighbouring properties, because the plume of smoke billowing from the fire was "toxic smoke".

No one was seriously injured in the house fire.

Ambulance officers treated David's father at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.

A Rockhampton fire spokesman said an official investigation was underway.

He said the house was badly damaged inside.

In the meantime, David said he was considering where he and his family would stay.

His wife is a nurse at Rockhampton Hospital.

His teenage son was working at the time of the fire.



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