Ripley Fire Station Officer Robert Graves said he had been to at least five structural fires during the course of last year.
Ripley Fire Station Officer Robert Graves said he had been to at least five structural fires during the course of last year.

REVEALED: Details of 100+ house fires to burn in Ipswich

MORE than 100 structural fires burned across the city of Ipswich during 2020, it can be revealed, after details emerged outlining the number of structural fires to burn statewide.

Across Queensland, nearly 2000 structural fires were reported last year, with nearly half of them found to have begun in the kitchen.

Ripley Station Officer Robert Graves said the story was similar in his patch.

“A lot of the structural fires we go to are either (caused by) children playing with matches or lighters, or electrical problems,” Mr Graves said.

“It could be an older-style house, wiring could be getting worn out.”

He said fires did often start in the kitchen, too.

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“People leaving stoves on – even a small stove or kitchen fire is recorded as a structural fire, as well,” he said.

“There are definitely a lot of kitchen fires – even from people knocking turn-knobs on and not realising it and then putting something close to it – plastics or whatever – which then melts.”

In the past year, Mr Graves remembers battling between six and 10 structural fires.

In the wake of the wild storm that devastated Springfield in October last year, storm damage caused fires break out at more than one home.

Aftermath of the supercell storm that hit Springfield on Saturday, 31 October 2020. Photo: Ebony Graveur
Aftermath of the supercell storm that hit Springfield on Saturday, 31 October 2020. Photo: Ebony Graveur

“Hail destroyed a lot of the tiles on the roof and so water got into the ceiling and the wiring,” he said.

“Energy companies turned off power to some of the houses.”

He said, while the power was turned off, the stove at one household was accidentally turned on.

“The power comes back on, the stoves turned on and, if there’s stuff on the stove, it obviously catches on fire,” he said.

Aftermath of the supercell storm that hit Springfield on Saturday, 31 October 2020. Photo: Ebony Graveur
Aftermath of the supercell storm that hit Springfield on Saturday, 31 October 2020. Photo: Ebony Graveur

READ MORE: Homes ‘without roofs, ceilings’ after massive storm

The residents arrived home to find smoke in the house.

“Luckily the power had only just come back on a couple of hours before they actually came home – had it been in the morning, it would have been a different story,” Mr Graves said.

“There was just a bit of smoke damage in the kitchen.”

He said it was vital to keep smoke alarms working, in every bedroom, and interconnected.

“New legislation requires, if it’s got a battery, it must be a 10-year battery life on them,” he said.

He stressed the importance of planning out and practising a fire escape plan.

“Have an evacuation plan for the household, especially if you’ve got children,” he said.

“Practice it well, even at night, when it’s dark.”

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.



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