ABLAZE: The Veteran fire could be seen from nearby properties.
ABLAZE: The Veteran fire could be seen from nearby properties. Lisa Rose McCarthy

Lightning strike sparks fire that destroys 'home'

LIGHTNING from severe storms which lashed the region on Saturday night is believed to have sparked a fire which partially destroyed a converted shed at Veteran.

Firefighters fought to contain the blaze for almost an hour after it started about 9pm, and remained on the scene until almost midnight.

In a comment online, former occupant of the building, Catherine Cook said her mother owned the Sandy Creek Rd property, and Ms Cook and her children had only moved out the week before.

It is unknown if Ms Cook's mother - or any other occupant - was home when the fire started, but Ms Cook said she was also safe.

The cause of the fire was yesterday still under investigation but a police spokesman said it was believed to have been started by a lightning strike.

A photo taken by nearby resident Lisa Rose McCarthy shows the fire in full force, with flames leaping into the air.

Firefighters said that when they arrived on the scene the blaze was already "well involved". Police confirmed it had "engulfed a portion of the dwelling".

Investigators were at the site Sunday and Monday.

Neighbouring residents described the lightning activity on Saturday as severe, Maureen McCarthy saying online that it was "hitting all around us".

"When I noticed the glow it had obviously been burning quite a while, but it was still raining heavily too," she said.

While initial reports from emergency services said the fire had destroyed a shed, it was unknown if the building had been refurbished for living as a QFES spokesman later identified it as a "residence".

Another firey on the scene said while he did not see the building itself, his officer told him on the night "it was no more".

Anyone with information or footage of the lightning trike which could have started the fire is asked to contact Gympie police.

The storms rolled into the region in the middle of a sweltering afternoon in which the temperature soared to 36.5 degrees.

Goomboorian received 9mm rainfall from the storm, while 4.8mm fell on Gympie.

Gympie Times


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