Jason and Harley Holohan with their dog Bella in front of their burnt-out house in Mt Morgan yesterday.
Jason and Harley Holohan with their dog Bella in front of their burnt-out house in Mt Morgan yesterday. Allan Reinikka

Family escapes burning home

A CHILD clutching his PlayStation ran through the home yelling, “Mum, our house is on fire” as his wheelchair-bound father came in to get all eight children, his wife and dogs out.

Although the Holohan family lost all their valuables, including sentimental photographs, after a fire broke out in their Mt Morgan home early yesterday, they were simply thankful to be out alive.

Jason Holohan, who sleeps in a caravan at the front of the Gordon Street property, said his wife Michelle was yelling as he came into the home to do a head count and make sure everyone was out and safe just after 2.30am.

Phillippa, 11, was the last child to escape the fire.

Yesterday morning she was recovering at Mt Morgan hospital after suffering from smoke burns to her throat.

“She’s okay now, we’re just lucky everyone got out of the house alive,” Michelle said, still shaken from the overnight blaze.

The house was engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived at 3am.

While investigations into the cause of the fire were continuing yesterday afternoon, it was believed to have started in the kitchen.

Jason said two of their children’s friends had slept over, and one of them was the first to have woken and noticed the fire.

Mt Morgan fire station captain Darren Barnicoat said it was lucky one of the children awoke and saw the fire.

While there was an investigation to see whether the smoke alarms were working, Mr Barnicoat said it was a timely reminder for residents to ensure they had working photo-electric smoke detectors.

“When we arrived on scene our main concern was to confirm no one was inside the home and to protect both structures either side,” he said.

He was impressed with how quickly everyone managed to get out of the house.

“The rear of the home was fully alight and the rest has extensive smoke and heat damage.”

Jason said the most sentimental items lost were the last photograph of Michelle’s grandfather from England and old antique furniture.

While Michelle was still in shock yesterday morning, the family has done it tough in the past, so losing valuables isn’t something they can’t deal with. 

“It’s just stuff. We were living in buses in Gympie 12 months ago. We’ve been without things before,” she said.



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