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'Nightmare' as shed burns just three metres from house

Brian Clacher and wife Rhonda Thompson, chat to Fire Inspector Geoff Townsley after their sheds were destroyed by fire.
Brian Clacher and wife Rhonda Thompson, chat to Fire Inspector Geoff Townsley after their sheds were destroyed by fire.

TWISTED, blackened metal and machinery is all that's left of Brian Clacher and Rhonda Thompson's sheds, but they consider themselves lucky to still have their home.

The house on their Habana property sits just three metres from the burnt-out sheds that caught fire on Tuesday afternoon.

"I was standing in the kitchen defrosting lamb chops. I saw a big ball sort of thing," Rhonda said.

"Sometimes the sun catches something in the shed. For that split second I thought... the sun. And then I thought 'No, it's not' and I just ran out the door and screamed to Brian. He just ran and said 'call the brigade'."

Hearing explosions, the couple ran to tell neighbours and get hoses.

"A bloke I'd never met before came with a tractor of water," Brian said.

As the fire spread Rhonda quickly grabbed keys, a wallet, insurance papers and a basket of clothes, and threw them on the lawn.

"It was so close. There were explosions, there was fire. I got to the stage where I thought 'I don't know where this brigade is, we are gonna lose this house'," she said.

Brian's shed for was full of tools, lathes and a rare Ford Capri he hoped to rebuild in his retirement.

"It was a nightmare; an absolute nightmare. So much could have been so much worse though. I felt bad one of the firies was hurt," she said.

Fire investigator Geoff Townsley from Brisbane is still examining the incident.

Topics:  fire fire safety house fire mackay


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