REBUILDING: Shane Ransley and Meredith Ransley at their property on Jones Street in Woolooga.
REBUILDING: Shane Ransley and Meredith Ransley at their property on Jones Street in Woolooga. Philippe Coquerand

Drastic action saves 140yo house in path of Woolooga fire

ONE OF Woolooga's oldest properties had a miraculous escape from the wild fires that raged through the district late last week.

The Acacia Vale Homestead, built in the 1880's by the Pike family, was sold to Shane and Meredith Ransley last year.

Shane Ransley and Meredith Ransley at their home in Woolooga.
Shane Ransley and Meredith Ransley at their home in Woolooga. Philippe Coquerand

Up until last week it was still situated on previous owner Ross McClymont's property, but due to the sheer force of the fires, two trucks were called to relocate the house to safer ground.

"Last Wednesday when the fire flared up, Shane and I were at Ross's place trying to save his property including both houses,” Mrs Ransley said.

"Thursday the fire flared up again (after pretty much everything was burnt) and threatened the house again.

The house getting moved to higher ground by the two trucks during the raging fire.
The house getting moved to higher ground by the two trucks during the raging fire. Acacia Vale Homestead

"Ross was out helping a neighbour but thankfully our roofing crew (from Wright's) were on site and pulled the tractor and machinery out of the hay shed before it burnt down and helped put out the fire as it once again headed for the houses.

"Early Friday we were onsite with Wrights as they loaded up the house to move it and for a third time the fire flared up right in front of the house. With strong wind behind it, we alerted Ross, who jumped on the tractor again to try to put it out.”

After several attempts to move the house, it was finally relocated to Jones Street.

Mrs Ransley said the past week was overwhelming.

"It was terrifying,” she said.

"It's hard to process what actually happened, but a couple of days later you begin to put it together.

"It was indescribable and overwhelming.”

As residents begin the mammoth task of putting the pieces back together, Mrs Ransley said she was grateful for the community support they've received.

REBUILDING: Shane Ransley and Meredith Ransley at their home in Woolooga.
REBUILDING: Shane Ransley and Meredith Ransley at their home in Woolooga. Philippe Coquerand

"We're not originally from here, we moved from Beaudesert three years ago,” she said.

"We decided to pack up our motorhome, three kids, six horses, a dog, a cat and some goldfish and explore Queensland.

"We came across Woolooga and thought it was a beautiful town and decided to settle down here, the community spirit is really unique.”

The Acacia Vale Homestead will undergo renovations this week.

"This property holds great significance to Woolooga and we believe it was important to preserve it,” she said.

"Roller-coaster doesn't even come close but we are one very happy and grateful family.”

Gympie Times


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