Firefighter’s final battle claims life in tragic blaze
A beloved granddad and career firefighter died battling a fire in his own home overnight; his family in shock and amazed his little dog 'Rocky' managed to escape.
Peter Murray, 71, devoted his two-decade-long career to saving lives, but the beloved grandfather lost his final battle on Sunday night in fire at his Cranbrook unit.
Daughter-in-law Kate Murray told the Townsville Bulletin Peter tried to save his home when the fire broke out shortly before midnight, but was overcome by the flames and found with a discharged fire extinguisher by his side.
The former firefighter's Townsville family were now faced with the reality of living without their beloved father, and taking care of his little dog and best mate 'Rocky' who escaped the flames.
Peter spent 24 years serving the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services as an officer in Townsville and the Gold Coast.
He retired and started working to install fire extinguishers at Chubb Fire and Security.
In his final moments, his training kicked in to try and save his house of 20 years in an "ironic" turn of events.
Mrs Murray said the retiree spent time with his three sons Steven, Anthony and Chris, watching football and laughing the day before his tragic death.
"They were all so close … it's going be a really hard. We are all just in shock," she said through tears.
Frantic neighbours called fire crews after waking to loud bangs and watching the flames take over the Orchid St unit on February 15.
The flames were doused, but Peter could not have been saved.
Police were still investigating the cause of the fire Monday afternoon as the severely damaged unit was rendered too unsafe to enter.
Mrs Murray said his seven grandchildren will miss him dearly, but she vowed to keep his memory alive with all his "funny stories".
"He loved them so much … he doted on them," she said.
Peter, an avid runner, loved travelling and dancing with his partner Cheryl and was a much-loved son of his mum, Lillian.