by John Robertson
At 1740 on Sunday 6th September a page called us to a house fire at Lamington Place on the Golf Course estate. Several members did not receive the page, a known problem which is under investigation with the appropriate company.
As the photo shows the house that burnt down had brick walls but a lot of interior timber and a timber deck. Various vehicles were underneath the deck. The first emergency vehicle on the scene was an ambulance – typical of the excellent response which the ambos achieve. Robbo was the first Brigade member to arrive – having walked from home just up the road. Two Urban firefighters had also come in their own cars. The whole house was enveloped in fierce flames with a lot of dark smoke. We confirmed that no one was trapped in the burning house and that the occupants of the adjoining houses had evacuated. An eyewitness reported seeing a small fire at the property entrance and then a few minutes later the whole building being alight.
Pending the arrival of the fire appliances we organised a back-up water supply from the domestic storage tank of the house immediately across the road. This was offered most readily – as befits the civic-minded residents of this estate. The water tank is a modern one and, in accordance with Council bye-laws, has a ‘hoon-proof’ lid. It needs two special tools to open it. They are shown in one of the photos. There is a good case for the Urban trucks carrying such tools for work on the Mountain. (Older tanks do not need special tools but may sometimes need a crowbar to prise open a recalcitrant cover.)
As soon as the first urban truck arrived its portable pump was coupled to the house tank and this kept the pumpers going steadily. 664A and 664C were first on scene and were joined later by 665A from Canungra. The Urbans did a great job and prevented the fire from spreading to adjacent properties, which looked very probable at first. This took a huge volume of water so, when the first house tank was nearly empty, the portable pump was moved to another tank. While the fire burned frequent bangs could be heard, and even felt, as numerous gas bottles under the house exploded. .
The next rural to arrive was Keith who came in his own car. The first TMRFB truck was 41 with David and Mal P. They supplied additional water to 664C. 52 came with TM1 (John) and TM2 (Paul) and were followed by 51 with TM4 (Karen) and Peter Q. 51 stood by to give additional water but this was not needed due to the large supply from the house tanks. 52 had the misfortune to get stuck in one the culverts (see photo) which abound along the roadside. We unloaded 52’s water into 665A so it was not wasted. This reduced the truck’s weight from 6.5 to 4.5 tonnes and Paul then successfully reversed it out in 4-WD.
At about 1930 the fire was well under control. Peter M thanked our Brigade for its help and our trucks returned to the station – refilling with water at Holt Road as required. We responded with thanks to Peter and the Urban crews for a job very well done. Another example of happy and successful cooperation between our two Brigades. More to come!
Early in the week the householder advised that his tank had been promptly and fully replenished. This was due to quick and effective action by our Urban colleagues. The replenishment was very well received and the good word is spreading fast. Thanks Maso!”