Devastating blaze claims man's home
A MAN has been left homeless after a blaze ripped through his house and very nearly destroyed neighbouring properties early Friday morning.
Three Ipswich fire crews were called to the single storey timber house on Peacock St, One Mile, about 12.40am, but the house was already well involved by the time they arrived.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service Bundamba station officer Phil Paff said while it was fortunate nobody was in the home at the time and nobody harmed, it was a Christmas tragedy for the man, who police believe was away on holidays at the time.
"The flames were threatening neighbouring properties when crews arrived due to the heat, so they have acted immediately to protect those homes before attacking the main body of the fire," Mr Paff said.
"At one stage it was a bit touch and go with those neighbouring homes. There was some bad blistering on the walls and we were worried the windows might fail on one of the houses.
"The crews did a fantastic job."
The owner's dog was in the back yard at the time but was not injured and it was understood a family member was able to attend and look after it.
Fire crews eventually brought the fire under control about 1.20am.
The blaze and subsequent emergency response brought a large number of locals out onto the street to see what was going on.
Police guarded the scene through the early hours of the morning.
As of yesterday, investigators were still not certain as to the cause of the fire.
"We had a fire investigator on scene with the police scenes of crime officers on Friday morning so we are hoping to get some idea of what caused the fire," Mr Paff said.
With hundreds of Ipswich residents still celebrating the Christmas period, firefighters have urged residents to take care with decorative lights and displays while also ensuring they have working smoke alarms.
"It is important to remind people at this time of year that if they are heading out and they have Christmas lights, don't leave them turned on. Also turn them off before you go to bed," Mr Paff said.
"The big one is to ensure you have working smoke alarms."