VIDEO: Firies hurt in Aratula house blaze
AS ROBERTA Robinson sorted through the charred remains of her Mount Edwards home, all the mother of three could think about was how lucky she was to be alive.
Emergency services were called to her home near Aratula about 7.30pm Friday after fire swept through the house.
A citronella candle in the bedroom was the suspected cause of the blaze that resulted in two volunteer firefighters being taken to Ipswich Hospital suffering smoke inhalation.
The 43-year-old home owner, who was also treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, said the fire had destroyed her home.
"It's all gone," she said.
"By the time I woke up I could see my grandmother's chair was on fire next to me and I got out into the hallway and there was smoke everywhere.
"We have the old style smoke alarms, not the photoelectric ones. I woke up vomiting due to the smoke, I didn't even hear the alarm.
"I honestly just thank God that I woke up."
Ms Robinson said she was thankful her children Mackenzie, 15, Courtney, 10 and Samantha, 8, were not home when the fire broke out.
"I keep thinking of all these things like childhood possessions and my children's things that are gone but my children weren't here, they didn't live through that and none of them have got that horrific memory. They're safe," she said.
"We've got animals everywhere as well and they're all safe."
Ms Robinson said emergency services and the tight-knit Aratula community had already thrown their support behind the family.
"The firefighters were brilliant. We have 43 acres and if it had gone into the paddocks it would've just gone," she said.
"A good friend of mine was one of the firies that got smoke inhalation. They both went home from hospital that night thankfully.
"I got out with nothing. I'm actually wearing one of his wife's shirts because I've had some lovely girlfriends who have dropped bags of clothes off.
"The community's been amazing."