Pair lucky to escape home ‘inferno’ at Redbank Plains

SIGGI Tomasson was counting his lucky stars yesterday as he told of how his respiratory mask cutting out alerted him to the blaze that engulfed his home.

He and his wife Kriss were asleep in the bedroom directly above where the fire broke out at 10.20pm on Sunday at their Willow Rd home at Redbank Plains.

"We didn't have time to take anything," Mrs Tomasson said.

"We lost everything. We got out with one singlet."

On occassions Siggi wears a CPAP mask for sleep apnoea.

"If he hadn't have put the mask on, we wouldn't have woken up," Mrs Tomasson said. "Not even the dogs barked. I guess it is the smoke that knocks you out first."

Mr Tomasson said he only woke up because the power cut out and his mask stopped working.

"I saw this funny light outside and I opened the curtains and there were flames coming into the bedroom window," he said.

"We were lucky because the smoke had just started to come up the stairs."

Their daughter Helga was not at home at the time. The family returned to the home yesterday afternoon to sift through the few charred items remaining.

The gutted home was still smouldering yesterday morning as police and fire investigation units surveyed the scene.

Only the exterior brickwork was left standing. A metal staircase and collapsed roofing was all that remained of half the house.

Four fire crews attended the scene and fought the blaze for four hours.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said three local units and a fourth crew from Brisbane were called to the scene and the fire was extinguished at 2.30am.

Neighbour David Lowson witnessed the fire soon after it broke out in a downstairs room, before what he described as an inferno swept through the home.

"I've never seen anything like it," Mr Lowson said.

"We heard people shouting and I came out and at the side of the house you could see flames coming out and then they got bigger and bigger and all of a sudden, woomf, the whole place went up. It was an inferno."

The home was insured and the Tomassons are staying at their son's house. Mrs Tomasson said a number of people had already come forward with clothes and assistance for them.

Topics:  editors picks inferno ipswich redbank plains

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