Fire destroys family home in Mossman

Published Monday 9 May 2016

A fire rips through a family home on Atherton Street in Mossman. FOOTAGE: Luke Pensenii

A Mossman residence has been completely destroyed in a tragic house fire on Saturday morning.

Mossman police and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service were called to an Atherton Street address at 9.30am on Saturday.

The four occupants - a mother and brother in their 30s and two children aged seven and five - escaped without injury but have lost everything in the blaze. It’s believed the fire was caused by one of the children playing with a lighter.

Mossman Police Detective Sergeant and Officer in Charge Trevor Perham said the incident was a tragic accident.

“There is nothing suspicious and investigation has discovered the fire was caused by one of the children playing with a cigarette lighter,” Perham said.

"The occupants were able to escape without injury, but have lost everything in the fire.

“There was also a fair amount of sentimental value attached to this particular house.”

The owner of the Atherton Street home, who was unable to be named, lives in Brisbane and is said to be devastated at the news. It’s believed his grandfather built the house himself in the 1940s using timber sourced from the nearby Whyanbeel Forest.

“The owners have lost everything attached to the family home,” Perham said.

"Their ancestors cut the timber by hand and it was the house the owner grew up in so it’s particularly devastating.”

Melissa Collins from Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and captain of Mossman Station, said two fire appliances and seven crew were on hand to try and control the fire, but nothing could be done.

“On arrival the house was fully engulfed,” she said.

“There was not much we could do, the fire spread very quickly as it was a timber construction it. The occupants were very lucky to get out alive.”

Both Detective Sargent Perham and Port Douglas Police Sergeant Damien Meadows said the incident was a timely reminder for people to be diligent this winter.

“One of major causes of house fires across the state is young people that get hold of matches and lighters,” Meadows said.

“There is nothing more devastating than walking out of residence with only the clothes on your back. It’s a devastating experience and it can take a very long time to recover from.”