Grandmother returns from morning walk to find house on fire

UPDATE 11.30AM: BRASSALL grandmother Jean Ritchie returned from a morning walk today to find her burning home surrounded by fire trucks.

A fire is believed to have started in the kitchen of Mrs Ritchie's rented Charles St home about 7.45am.

Fire crews from Brassall, Bundamba and Karana Downs were able to bring the fire under control within half an hour, but it is understood the inside of the home has sustained significant smoke and fire damage.

A distraught Mrs Ritchie says she will have to stay with one of her daughters.

"I just went out for a walk and then came back and there were fire trucks everywhere," she said.

"I came around the corner and saw a whole heap of smoke.

"It's gut wrenching when you think about how all your life is in that house. My grandson and I put a lot of work into the house when I moved in."

Mrs Ritchie had lived in the house for several months and said there had been some issues with a stove.

Brassall fire station officer Des Sardie says the fire is being treated as having started accidentally and that it is likely to have started in the kitchen.

Mr Sardie says when crews first arrived, there were concerns that Mrs Ritchie was still inside.

"Our primary concern was search and rescue so that's why our guys forced entry into the home and conducted a search," he said.

"Once that was done we managed to contain the fire to the kitchen, but unfortunately it has burned up the walls and into the roof, also causing damage to one of the adjoining rooms, which I think was a sitting room.

"We were on scene within two minutes and managed to save the house structurally, but unfortunately for that lady there is considerable damage to the kitchen, the other room and her belongings inside."

Mrs Ritchie says she is trying to focus on the positives.

"There are people worse off," she said.

"I've still got my health and my family."

INITIAL: POLICE are at the scene of a fire that has damaged the ceiling and a bedroom of a house in Brassall this morning.

Three Ipswich fire crews were called to are weatherboard home on Charles St about 7.45am, where they noticed smoke coming from the building and forced entry.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokesman said there was a large amount of smoke coming from the ceiling and one of the bedrooms.

The fire was under control by about 8.10am and completely extinguished by 8.35am.

There was no mention of any of the occupants of the home being present at the time.

Firefighters have since left the scene under the control of Queensland Police, however there is no suggestion at this stage of any suspicious circumstances.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are under way.



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