TOURISTS were lucky to escape with their lives after the van they were sleeping in caught fire in Lions Park this morning.
A police spokesperson said the backpackers woke to the smell of smoke at 4.50am to find their Mitsubishi Starwagon on fire before unsuccessfully using a fire extinguisher on the blaze.
"The vehicle was fully ablaze," the police spokesperson said.
All of the tourists escaped the van unharmed.
A Queensland Fire and Rescure Service spokesperson said the van was "totally destroyed".
He said the fire was started because there was a spare battery underneath a wire framed mattress which the tourists were sleeping on which caused the terminals of the battery to short out.
It took the fire and rescue crew 20 minutes to extinguish the fire.
The police spokesperson said the fire was being treated as non-suspicious.