The scene of a fire at a home in Erin Close, New Auckland.
The scene of a fire at a home in Erin Close, New Auckland.

REVEALED: What started a house fire at New Auckland

TWO KIDS and their parents were lucky their quick actions saved them from a New Auckland house fire on June 29 and the cause can now be revealed.

The blaze on the lower level of the two-storey home broke out in a storage room about 7.15am.

Once the fire was under control, homeowner Michelle told The Gladstone Observer “Everyone is all right”, “It’s lucky we go the kids out.”

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said three tankers attended the blaze in Erin Close.

“When QFES arrived there was an incident in evidence,” the spokeswoman said.

“The structure was well involved in fire.

“There was smoke issuing from the roof and the rear of the structure.”

LUCKY: The home on Erin Close, New Auckland, where a fire started in a lower level storage room on Monday June 29 at 7.15am. Picture: Rodney Stevens
LUCKY: The home on Erin Close, New Auckland, where a fire started in a lower level storage room on Monday June 29 at 7.15am. Picture: Rodney Stevens

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By 8.45am, the fire was 90 per-cent extinguished, limiting damage to the home.

“There were four people in the house at the time including children,” a spokeswoman said.

“It has broken through the floor (between the bottom and top levels of the home).”

No occupants of the house were injured and the home was insured.

Due to the nature of the blaze, a fire investigation was launched.

A QFES spokeswoman said the investigation determined the fire was caused by an electrical fault.

The Gladstone Observer has been told the fire started when a blanket was ignited due to the fault.

QFES Gladstone Station Officer Shane Austin said with cooler weather still being experienced, every resident could follow these guidelines to ensure they don’t encounter a fire in their home.

He said every home should have photoelectric smoke alarms installed and working, plus a home safety plan that every occupant is aware of and has practised.

“People should make sure their home smoke alarms are working by checking them regularly, at least once a month by pressing the test button,” he said.

“Make sure you have got a home escape plan and practice it.

“You should have at least two safe ways to escape out of your house.”

Practising sensible electrical appliance use, Stn Off Austin said, can also prevent fires.

“Don’t overload any powerboards and make sure you have got safety switches installed in your meter box,” he said.

“A big one that causes some fires is making sure you clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer.

“The biggest cause of fires is unattended cooking, so make sure you are always looking and paying attention to what you are cooking.”

LUCKY ESCAPE: New Auckland homeowner Michelle and a QFES Fire Investigation Officer walk up the driveway at the scene of an early morning house fire to inspect the damage. Picture: Rodney Stevens
LUCKY ESCAPE: New Auckland homeowner Michelle and a QFES Fire Investigation Officer walk up the driveway at the scene of an early morning house fire to inspect the damage. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Fire prevention checklist:

  • Check all electrical items for damage; do not use if damaged.
  • Install an electrical safety switch.
  • Regularly clean your oven, stove top and rangehood.
  • Only use one appliance per power point.
  • Regularly clean your clothes dryer and airconditioner filters.
  • Store chemicals in a secure area away from high fire risk areas.
  • Store matches and lighters in a secure place not accessible to children.
  • Regularly maintain the yard by removing dead leaves and scrub.
  • Roll electric blankets, never fold, to store for next season.

Fire safety tips:

  • Do not use water to extinguish fat or oil fires.
  • Use only qualified electricians to fix or maintain heating and electrical appliances.
  • Oil, gas or wood heating units may require a yearly maintenance check.
  • Only use fuses of recommended rating and install an electrical safety switch.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in a low fire risk area.
  • Ensure airconditioning units are clean of dust and animals.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when using wheat bags to prevent overheating.

If your home or property is involved in a fire, call triple-0.