TOURISTS were lucky to escape with their lives after the van they were sleeping in caught fire at Lions Park yesterday morning.
A police spokesperson said the backpackers woke to the smell of smoke at 4.50am to find their Mitsubishi Starwagon on fire.
"The vehicle was fully ablaze," the police spokesperson said.
All of the tourists escaped the van unharmed.
A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said the van was totally destroyed. He said the fire started from a spare battery underneath a wire-framed mattress, which the tourists were sleeping on, that caused the battery terminals to short.
It took firefighters 20 minutes to put out the fire.