Peregian fire: “One street... five or six houses went up.”


HUNDREDS of people have been evacuated as a fast-moving bushfire sweeps through beachside suburbs on the Sunshine Coast.

A dozen homes have been destroyed and there are reports of other buildings, including a petrol station and a sewage treatment plant, going up in flames.

Residents have spoken of the panic they felt as they realised they had to abandon their homes.

Survivor Harry Bryant was with police earlier on Monday evening as they went desperately door-to door trying to get Peregian residents to leave.

"It just happened so quickly," Mr Bryant said.

"It just came across the top of the hill through the scrubland.

"I was in a police car with them as they went trying to talk people out of houses who wouldn't leave.

"One street we were in five or six houses went up."

Mr Bryant fears he's lost everything in his flat to the flames and is spending the night at a Noosa exact centre.

Peregian fire survivors Peter and Suzanne Johnson grabbed there dogs Geordie and Kirra and fled the flames.

Suzanne saw the fire warning online before looking off their Tern St back deck and seeing the flames marching across the bushland behind the coastal committee.

Ian Martin took these photos in Peregian Springs in Koel Circuit and Godwit Place.
Ian Martin took these photos in Peregian Springs in Koel Circuit and Godwit Place.

"You could see it going across the hill," Mr Johnson said where they were sheltering at the temporary Coolum surf club evacuation centre.

He said they were waiting for dawn and hoping to be allowed back in to their home - if it's still there.

"You go back when they let you," Mr Johnson said.

"Tonight we've got to find somewhere to stay."

Fire authorities said the "hard running" fire started shortly after 4pm but there was only time for one waterbombing run before night fell, grounding them.

A massive ground effort with more than 100 fire fighters were battling the flames as it marched north towards Noosa.