QFES defends 'slow' response to Waite Creek Crt fire

The smouldering remains of the house razed to the ground by Sunday's fire at Waite Creek Court.
The smouldering remains of the house razed to the ground by Sunday's fire at Waite Creek Court. Dave O'Conner

RESIDENTS of Waite Creek Court who saw a neighbour's house burn to the ground on Sunday are asking questions about how long it took fire trucks to arrive at the scene.

Speaking in the cul de sac while emergency crews were fighting the fire, residents, who did not want to be named, said they were frustrated by the time to took for crews to arrive.

Aabout 3.30pm the blaze started at the end of the cul-de-sac, by a walkway through to the Reef Gateway Hotel.

The first Queensland Fire and Emergency Service crews arrived on the scene at the last house in the cul-de-sac by 4.04pm, residents said.

"You could see the smoke...and I was on the phone saying 'quick quick there is a big fire it's in the car park' but they seemed to take ages to come,” one resident said.

Residents said it took 23 minutes for the QFES to arrive after being notified.

QFES said there was some confusion after some 000 callers reported a fence was on fire and others reported a structure fire.

"Irrespective of 000 reports, auxiliary crews from Airlie Beach and Proserpine were paged and responded to the incident as a priority and were on scene at 4.01pm,” a spokesperson said.

QFES said the Jubilee Pocket station staffed was from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and operated as an auxiliary station after hours and weekends.

The spokesperson said fire communications staff used a paging system to notify auxiliary firefighters of incidents.

Auxiliary firefighters then responded to the fire station and attended incidents once four crew members had presented at the station, they said.

Some residents suggested Cannonvale needed its own fire station.

QFES said there were plans to build one.

"Population is only one factor that determines future station locations,” the QFES spokesperson said.

"Other factors include density and proximity to key infrastructure within an agreed national response time standard.

"QFES is confident in its current delivery model.”

Topics:  cannonvale emergency services fire house fire qfes waite creek court

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