Tom Parker at his property on Egerton Street in Bundamba. Pictures: Rob Williams
Tom Parker at his property on Egerton Street in Bundamba. Pictures: Rob Williams

Residents assess the damage after Bundamba blaze

BUNDAMBA residents faced chaotic scenes on Saturday when a large blaze took hold of paddocks and roared towards the edge of suburbia.

As police declared an exclusion zone, many were left to wait it out to see if their homes had succumbed to the flames.

Tom Parker left his home and returned to find just how close he was to losing it all.

"I was shocked to see they saved our house, that's the main thing.

"This stuff here, you can replace all that, but the home would be a big deal," he said.

Mr Parker lost a number of vehicles and a shed filled with his belongings.

Rick Nelson lives next door to the house that went up in flames and sparked the large blaze. He stayed back to do all he could to protect his family home.

"We lost everything in the flood and I wasn't going to lose everything to a fire. I just wasn't, simple," he said.

"Me and my brother, we stayed to fight it. Told my mum, she's in her late 70s, we said 'get in the car and get going'.

"It's lucky the wind was going the opposite direction, if it was going this way, who knows what could have happened?

"We've seen the paddock go up before, but nothing as severe as that."

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Superintendent Tyson Loetzsch said the changing wind conditions wreaked havoc for fire fighters, as flames continued to spread in multiple directions.

"The initial ground crews had a massive fire fight on their hands and we had to send crews in all different directions to protect property first and foremost," he said.

"We were also supported by waterbombing aircraft, rotary wing, the helicopters. They water bombed the fire for several hours."

Flames caused a container filled with fireworks to explode, which added further complications to the situation for emergency services.

More than 30 operational crews from across Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to Bundamba to help contain the fire.

"It would be rare for us to have so many fire and rescue appliances at one fire, but it was absolutely necessary to defend the properties in this instance and save those properties from imminent, direct fire impact.

"Without that effort, we would have had a very different result today."



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