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Family history lost, life saved

GONE: Family heirlooms dating back to the 1800s were destroyed in a Gayndah house fire last week. Photo Shirley Way / Central & North Burnett Times
GONE: Family heirlooms dating back to the 1800s were destroyed in a Gayndah house fire last week. Photo Shirley Way / Central & North Burnett Times Shirley Way

MORE than a century's worth of history was lost during a house fire in Gayndah last week.

Jessie Wein was proud of her family history collection, which included "personal items going back to my great-grandmother in the 1800s".

It would take some time to process the "really gut-wrenching" loss of these items and her home of 31 years, said Ms Wein, who was being cared for by family. 

"I just can't thank enough the people who have been so kind and so supportive - the police, the fire, the council, neighbours," she said.

"I'm so overwhelmed from the support." 

Neighbours were relieved Ms Wein was not at home when the fire started, and ensured the safety of others and neighbouring properties.

Next-door neighbour Lorraine Clark, who phoned Ms Wein and emergency services -  after her cat issued an unusual low growl - was grateful for the assistance of three unnamed workmen. 

"Three guys came from nowhere to hose my house down, assisted by neighbours Alan and Alex," Ms Clark said.

Meanwhile, Ross Hickey was "worried about the bloke next door (to Ms Wein)" and ran across the road to advise him to "get out the house". 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services zone commander Adam Gwin said a forensic investigation identified the blaze "may have started in the kitchen area" due to an electrical fault.

The Gayndah and Mundubbera crews responded quickly and prevented the fire from spreading to neighbouring properties, Mr Gwin said. 

"It's now in the hands of the insurance company, which will determine the next course of action to be taken," he said.

"It's important to have working smoke alarms as neighbours will always hear alarms before they see smoke, and ensure insurance is up to date."   

Topics:  central and north burnett times, fire, gayndah


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