Wake-up call saved our lives from horror blaze
UNAWARE of the burning flames lapping at their windows or the smoke seeping through their floorboards, Jayden Savage and Caleb Gregory nearly didn't wake.
What saved the Murray St, Rockhampton, couple from the 4.15am neighbouring house fire was two strangers desperately knocking at their door yelling, "Get out, fire, get out".
Jayden fought back tears yesterday afternoon as she looked at the charred frame of the neighbouring houses, a reminder of how close she and Caleb were to losing the rental home where they live.
Two houses were destroyed by the blaze early yesterday. At this early stage, police haven't ruled out the fire having being deliberately lit.
Jayden is still coming to terms with the ferocity of the fire and how quickly it destroyed property.
"The house was perfectly fine last night when we went to bed, we got woken up around about 4.15am to Shanny and Monique banging on the door, really badly," Jayden recalled.
"My partner jumped up, looked out the window and just went, get up next door is on fire."
In disbelief Jayden ran out, saw the fire and opened the front door.
In what Jayden says felt like a blur, she grabbed her dog, handbag and headed outside to look for her cat while Caleb tried to put the fire out along with another neighbour.
"I rang the fire brigade and got told to evacuate in case it (the fire) started to light up our house," she said.
"I walked next door and the firies were sitting on the phone to me until they got here."
Jayden said it took two hours to put the fire out but Queensland Fire and Emergency Services stood there and kept going.
"They tried as much as possible to not get either one of the houses burnt. They tried so hard," she said.
"Old matey, two houses over, got taken up to the hospital with 5% of his body burnt because he was trying to put the fire out as well. His house is gone, apparently it is all burnt too."
Jayden said the house where the fire started was vacant at the time with the owners only recently moving out.
"The young couple next door handed their keys in Saturday morning so the house was vacant, thankfully," she said.
"It was so quick, 10 minutes and it was through that house, that entire house was gone."
Standing under her rental house yesterday, she assessed the damage to her property.
"We've got all smashed windows on one side of the house, my indicator light on my car melted, the side mirror is melted and my windscreen is all cracked but other than that it's just a bit of fire damage," she said.
"There is glass absolutely everywhere, but it isn't as bad as everywhere else.
"The owner (of the house) is very co-operative, the real estate were lovely...they were both so concerned with how we were instead of the house.
"When they found out we were okay they started ringing to get the house windows boarded up so we could stay here but we'll be staying with relatives for a while until we can fix it up completely."
Both escaping without injuries, Jayden and Caleb tossed around the very real thought between each other of "what if".
"If it wasn't for the girls banging on the door we wouldn't have woken up, who knows what would have happened," Jayden said.
"I think we're more shaken up then anything.
"I really hope if it is arson someone does get caught."
Yesterday, Rockhampton police said authorities were investigating the cause of the fire.
Detective Snr Sgt Luke Peachey said as the house was only vacated on Saturday they were investigating whether there were previous faults or any traces of accelerants which would give police a clearer idea of what happened.
"At this stage, a crime scene has been declared and we will be treating the matter as suspicious until otherwise proven," Det Snr Sgt Peachey said.
"We've got fire and rescue investigators as well as forensic police so hopefully soon we will have a clearer idea of how the fire started, where the seed of the fire was and if any accellerant was used.
"We'd like to ask anyone with info in regards to this matter to contact police."