Family's camping holiday nightmare ends in flames
AN EXPLODING battery has left a Bundaberg family terrified and their camp site burnt to the ground after a new year's camping trip went horribly wrong.
Ashleigh Bauer was sitting around a beach side camp fire with her three children when she suddenly noticed a bright glow coming from their set-up behind the Baffle Creek dunes.
Her heart jumped in her chest as she sprinted over the hill to find her tent and belongings ablaze.
"I'm just so thankful I hadn't put my kids to bed yet," Ms Bauer said.
"Usually I would put my kids to bed but for some reason I kept them awake and by the fire with us all.
"My kids wouldn't have made that fire. It was really bad."
One of the other campers who had been asleep in a neighbouring tent was tearing at the flaming tent because he thought Ms Bauer's children were asleep inside.
He had just gone to bed with his two-year-old twin daughters who were sleeping no more than five metres from where the fire ignited.
"My three-year-old son was just screaming," she said.
The battery of their power drill that was in the front section of their tent exploded, setting everything alight.
All fourteen group members scrambled to find anything they could to extinguish the 2m high flames.
"We used all the water we had, shoes, anything to try and put it out," Ms Bauer said.
"We had three butane gas bottles in a container and the plastic lid had already started to melt.
"Thirty seconds longer and the whole site would have gone up in an explosion."
Ms Bauer and her partner have contacted the drill manufacturer but due to the holiday period have not been able to make a report.
The mother-of-three said between their tools and camping equipment they would have lost about $6500 worth of goods.
"Out two-year-old has some burn marks on his feet... but I'm just glad my kids are safe. Everything else is replaceable," Ms Bauer said.