Fighting own fire
WHEN Kalbar firefighter Steven Easton's pager went off early yesterday morning he couldn't believe his eyes.
The callout was to his small engines repair business with reports the family-owned and operated shop was well-alight.
“I thought I was dreaming at first and then I just kept checking the address, thinking nah, that can't be my shop,” Mr Easton said.
Arriving at the scene in Railway Street, Kalbar, just before 4.30am, Mr Easton was “shocked and stunned”.
More than $70,000 worth of spare parts, mowers and quad bikes, some belonging to customers, had gone up in flames.
“As a firefighter I've seen it all before but it's different when it's your own gear,” he said.
The historic shed, believed to be about 80 years of age, was built by a local and bought by Mr Easton's family five years ago and restored from its derelict state.
“I'm more a repair shop so I've lost a few grand worth of spare parts and a few of my customers' mowers and quad bikes have been destroyed,” he said.
Mr Easton said the building was insured but he would struggle to replace its contents.
“All I'm really worried about is my customers. I'll worry about the rest later,” he said.
Mr Easton said he was fortunate that his weighbridge control unit located inside the shop was still intact.
“At least that's one part of the business I can still run,” he said.
Mr Easton said anyone who wanted to use the weighbridge could still do so, but by appointment only by phoning 0431 021 679.
“Customers who are worried about their gear can give me a call too,” he said.
Three fire crews from Kalbar and Boonah responded to the fire at 4.20am.
The cause of the fire is being investigated but it is not being treated as suspicious.