Owner helpless to stop fire destroying home of 12 years
UPDATE: Self-described nomad Roger Newbiggin was stoic as he watched Coast firefighters extinguish the remains of his home.
The 66-year-old said he had noticed "a little bit of a smell" when he pulled into a public carpark beside Alexandra Parade on Tuesday morning.
He went to use nearby public amenities and got involved in a conversation with someone about motor homes.
"I turned around and there was smoke coming out from underneath," Mr Newbiggin said.
He grabbed a small fire extinguisher from inside but it wasn't enough to stop flames from spreading into the whole van.
"I would guess the batteries overheated and caught on fire," he said.
"I have had the same battery system for 12 years and it has done me well."
Mr Newbiggin said he had travelled around Australia three times in the van.
He was able to save his kite surfing equipment, two computers and a Onewheel hoverboard from the flames.
"I've probably lost all of my clothes," Mr Newbiggin said
"My tools will be alright."
The retired investor said he was on the Coast visiting family members ahead of a trip to Western Australia next month.
"I was looking at upgrading to a newer one sometime," he said.
"It is going to be sooner than later.
"I think I will go for the same lifestyle."
He said he was a bit jumpy after the experience but would move on.
"I'm a realist," Mr Newbiggin said.
"I live in the present."
EARLIER: A motor home has been destroyed by fire at Alexandra Headland.
Emergency crews were called to a public car park beside Alexandra Parade about 9.30am.
They extinguished the flames, which caused thick smoke to pour across the nearby road.
The owner said he had stopped to use a public toilet and noticed smoke coming from the battery area.
He said he thought the batteries might have overheated.
There are no reports of injuries.
More to come.