PHOTO GALLERY: ‘Take this terrible event as a warning’
WITHIN a few short moments the home you've lived in for the past five years can be reduced to a smoking shell of charred walls and floors.
This was the reality for the young Packer family who are lucky to have evacuated their rental property on Logan Rd in Kingaroy before the majority of the building was inundated in smoke as a mystery blaze took hold of the home just after 3pm on Tuesday afternoon.
Ryan Packer, 27, said he and his wife Jordanna had lived in the property for more than five years and raised their two young children there, their youngest just six months old.
"I was in the bedroom having an afternoon sleep as I am on two weeks of leave from work and I woke up to hear my wife screaming at the top of her lungs to get out of the house," Mr Packer recalled just minutes after evacuating his family.
"Thank God she woke me up, otherwise I might of slept right through it.
With nothing but a pair of well-worn flannie Broncos pyjama bottoms on, Mr Packer and his family waited on the street for fire crews to arrive as they watched in horror while their home was quickly reduced to charred ruins.
Luckily for the Packer family, both fire and rescue teams and neighbours came to their aid within a matter of minutes.
"The neighbourhood have been incredibly generous and kind - people are checking if we need somewhere to stay, if the kids need anything, everyone's just been amazing and it feels good to know you have people who have got your back," Mr Packer said.
Nearby neighbours, the Hoskens were quick to rush to the family's's aid with a shirt and shoes for Mr Packer and some cuddly stuffed toys for the young children.
"I saw the smoke billowing out from behind their house," Alison Hosken said.
"Warron (my husband) has been through two house fires when he was younger and he said the smell of smoke is something you will never forget."
Head of the Kingaroy Fire Station, Archie Andrews, said he hoped this tragic event would remind South Burnett residents of several important factors to consider when coming into winter.
"Take this terrible event as a warning and make sure you're properly prepared … we can replace property but we can never replace human lives," he said.
While fire investigation authorities said they were still investigating the cause of the Logan Rd house fire, Mr Andrews said there were a number of precautions you and your family could take to try and limit the chance of your home coming to a similar fate.
Take a look at our checklist here to see if your family is prepared for fire season this year.
To help the Packer family get back on their feet, call Jordanna on 0400 653 041.
With almost every item they owned destroyed in the blaze this young family are going to need the support and generosity of their community over the next several months.
If you have any furniture, appliances or clothes you no longer need, get in touch with her to arrange a drop-off location.
You can also show your support by donating to the GoFundMe account set up by Fiona Coyne here.