Cause of Coast house blaze still being investigated
FIRE investigators were on the scene early today as they tried to determine the cause of a fire that badly damaged a Sippy Downs home at the height of a short, powerful storm that slammed the central Sunshine Coast on the last day of 2017.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services fire investigator Ash Dickson said he worked through the roof space but was still to fully determine the cause of a smouldering blaze that melted water pipes and caused extensive internal damage.
Mr Dickson said neighbours had reported lightning striking the rented home's antennae but whether that or a possible power surge was responsible remained unclear.
A GoFundMe page has been formed to support the victims - a disability pensioner and his fiance - who lost most of their possessions to fire and smoke damage.
The man, who did not wish to be speak to the media, was home at the time a loud explosion rocked the house in Tolman St where neighbours had reported seeing lightning strike the antennae.
His brother Zac Hornbuckle has launched the GoFundMe campaign to try to raise $25,000 to help the couple who he said had lost a lot of possessions.
With the home uninhabitable the couple have moved on with his parents who live across the road.
Neighbour Paul O'Donnell, who moved his family north just over a year ago, said he had been shocked by the intensity of the storm and how quickly it had come and gone.
Mr O'Donnell, who works in marketing at Caloundra RSL, said his children had become hysterical
Neighbour Paul O'Donnell said the area had gone eerily quiet before the storm hit with the power going out and then a loud explosion that left his children terrified by the noise.