‘Distraught’: Hellish inferno leaves family, home in tatters

A WELL-KNOWN Innisfail family is picking up the pieces less than two weeks before Christmas after their family home burnt to the ground in a hellish inferno.

More than seven fire trucks and multiple police units were called to the rural East Palmerston property of Gail and John Dunne on Wednesday morning after their son Matthew, who lives close by, spotted smoke billowing from the old timber Queenslander.

The couple, in their 60s, had left only an hour before their home was engulfed in flames on Dunne Rd, which is named after the family.

Innisfail Police Officer in Charge Mark Cini said investigations were unable to pinpoint the exact spark due to the ferocity and destruction of the blaze, but it's believed to have started in the laundry area.

The fire was not suspicious.

Seven Queensland Fire and Rescue trucks were called to the hellish house fire near Innisfail, but they were unable to save the family home.
Seven Queensland Fire and Rescue trucks were called to the hellish house fire near Innisfail, but they were unable to save the family home.


"Obviously, the family is ­distraught, there is never a good time to lose a home and this close to Christmas, it's devastating," he said.

"The occupants left the home in the morning and about an hour later it was engulfed.

"They were lucky and unlucky they weren't there, fortunately no one was injured but the house could not be saved."

The fire at 434 Dunne Road, East Palmerston, as extremely intense
The fire at 434 Dunne Road, East Palmerston, as extremely intense

The site was still smouldering on Wednesday evening hours after firefighters had left.

The property, about 25 minutes from Innisfail, was not close to any other homes and no other dwellings were damaged.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were first called to the scene at 10.30am, but were unable to attack the blaze from within the building, such was its force. By 1.20pm, the home had been reduced to ash.

"It was a timber Queenslander and engulfed in flames fairly quickly," Senior Sergeant Cini said.

"By the time fire crews arrived, there was not much they could do."

Originally published as 'Distraught': Hellish inferno leaves family, home in tatters


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