BURNT OUT: The site of a fire at a Mt Coolum development site that started overnight, after the burn. The site borders an aged care facility on Suncoast Beach Dr.
BURNT OUT: The site of a fire at a Mt Coolum development site that started overnight, after the burn. The site borders an aged care facility on Suncoast Beach Dr. Judie Turner

Fire next to Coast aged-care facility terrifies residents

A FIRE that engulfed debris next to an aged-care facility overnight has "terrified" elderly residents.

Two fire trucks were sent to the Suncoast Beach Dr, Mt Coolum site where a log stack was on fire, at about 1.45am, a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman confirmed.

They battled the blaze and brought it under control by 2.20, he said.

Resident Judie Turner, who lives next to the site of the fire, which is planned for a new townhouse development and was recently cleared of vegetation, says she is furious more was not done to avoid the blaze.

"At 1am in the morning this was a massive fire - imagine how freaked out the residents at the nursing home were," Ms Turner said. "They'd be terrified."

She said a "nice big forest of trees" had been cleared to make way for a townhouse development, with debris pushed into "kindling stacks" and left to dry.

As reported in the Daily earlier this month, police believe a firebug was behind a number of fires in the Coolum and Marcoola areas.

 

BEFORE: The site of a fire at a Mt Coolum development site that started overnight, before the burn.
BEFORE: The site of a fire at a Mt Coolum development site that started overnight, before the burn. Judie Turner

Given the concerns about an arsonist or arsonists operating in the area, Ms Turner said it was a shame the large dry-log piles had not been removed immediately after clearing.

"It could have spread throughout (the nursing home)," she said.

"It's absolutely terrible, what they've done for these people."

Resident Robert Murphy, who is staying with a friend at Coolum Villas across the road from the fire, woke to the smell of smoke and watched firefighters douse the flames.

"For it to happen next to an aged-care facility - they've all got breathing problems," Mr Murphy said.

"It's just unbelievable.

"We were wondering when someone was going to clear it (the wood stack) - it was an invitation for an arsonist to come, and that's exactly what's happened this morning.

"It could have been avoided."

Firefighters and Coolum police confirmed the fire is not being investigated for arson.


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