‘We lost it all in 2011 floods, now we’ve been hit by fire’

BUNDAMBA residents have returned home after a huge fire destroyed at least one home and several sheds, scorched paddocks and exploded a shipping container of fireworks.

As police declared an exclusion zone in the suburb west of Ipswich on Saturday, many were left to wait it out to see if their homes had ­succumbed to the flames.

Residents stroll through the ash after a bushfire at Bundamba. Picture: Rob Williams
Residents stroll through the ash after a bushfire at Bundamba. Picture: Rob Williams

Tom Parker left his home and returned to find he'd lost vehicles and a shed filled with his belongings, but his house was unscathed.

"I was shocked to see they saved our house, that's the main thing," he said. "This stuff here, you can replace all that, but the home would be a big deal."

Tom Parker at his property on Egerton St. Picture: Rob Williams
Tom Parker at his property on Egerton St. Picture: Rob Williams

The fire started at a home in Bundamba, near Ipswich, just after 11am, ­before spreading into surrounding shrubs. The fast-moving blaze also set off a shipping container of fireworks on Hanlon St.

Landowner Craig Stevenson said he rented an area of his Bundamba property to fireworks company Skylighter FireworX.

"I don't know how many fireworks he had stored, but it would have been a lot fuller than usual with so many fireworks cancelled," Mr Stevenson said. "Lucky there was so many emergency services on scene already."

Craig Stevenson owns the land on which a shipping container full of fireworks exploded during the bushfire. Picture: AAP/Image Sarah Marshall
Craig Stevenson owns the land on which a shipping container full of fireworks exploded during the bushfire. Picture: AAP/Image Sarah Marshall

Mr Stevenson said firefighters extinguished the fireworks blaze quickly.

"Ninety per cent of Queensland's fireworks come through here … and with the fire bans, our

Jill Sharp had to leave her animals behind when she evacuated during the bushfire. Picture: AAP/Image Sarah Marshall
Jill Sharp had to leave her animals behind when she evacuated during the bushfire. Picture: AAP/Image Sarah Marshall

firework storage containers are full," Mr Stevenson said.

"Recently, we were supposed to do about 20 jobs and they all cancelled."

Bundamba woman Jill Sharp was forced to evacuate her home without her 20 animals about 1pm by authorities who warned her it was too risky to stay.

"I wanted to stay because of my animals, but then I was scared because of all the fireworks so I went," Ms Sharp said.

"I was worried I would lose it all again … like we lost everything in the 2011 floods."

Rick Nelson lives next door to the house that went up in flames and sparked the large blaze. He stayed back to do all he could to protect his family home.

"We lost everything in the flood and I wasn't going to lose everything to a fire," he said. "I just wasn't, simple. Me and my brother, we stayed to fight it. Told my mum, she's in her late-70s, we said 'get in the car and get going'.

Rick Nelson says he lost everything in the 2011 floods so did everything he could to protect his home during the bushfire. Picture: Rob Williams
Rick Nelson says he lost everything in the 2011 floods so did everything he could to protect his home during the bushfire. Picture: Rob Williams

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Superintendent Tyson Loetzsch said the changing wind conditions wreaked havoc for firefighters, as the blaze spread in multiple directions.

"The initial ground crews had a massive fire fight on their hands and we had to send crews in all different directions to protect property first and foremost," he said.

"We were also supported by water-bombing aircraft, rotary wing, the helicopters - they water-bombed the fire for several hours," he said.



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