Family home burns to the ground after long dispute
A FAMILY home that was the centre of a dispute with Bundaberg Sugar and the lessee has gone up in flames.
A stack of crumpled tin and smouldering ash is the scene left after the house fire on the Kolan River.
Fire fighters were called to the house fire at Baillies Rd about 9.45am Saturday morning.
On arrival there was nothing the fire fighters could do to save the property.
It is believed the long battled between Tess Haynes and the sugar company came to an end about two weeks ago when the mother and her teenage daughter moved out.
Her brother Josh Haynes said he wasn't aware of the fire, but confirmed his sister had left the property.
He said the cost of fighting to stay at the property had "broken the family".
"It got to the point we weren't getting anywhere," Mr Haynes said.
"We just couldn't keep throwing money at it."
Bundaberg Sugar's Belgium-based owner Finasucre ordered a number of "shacks", and their owners, off its land at Easter time.
In June Mrs Haynes said the home had been in her family for generations and she was conceived there as she fought to stay.
"My grandfather got the house on a handshake and it was for a 90 year lease," she said.
In September the conflict over the residence intensified with Mrs Haynes believing she would be arrested for refusing to leave her childhood home.
Police arrived on her doorstep asking her to leave.
Refusing Mrs Haynes and her 14-year-old daughter went into lock down as they continued the fight.
Friends and family would deliver care packages and food to their locked gate over the last five month.
Spray painted signs stating "our family home" and "home" were placed around the property.
The signs were the only items left in the pile ash as fire fighter left the scene.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency spokesman said five crews responded to the fire call and it took about two-and-a-half hours to make the area safe.
He said the report came in from passer-by and no one was at the property at the time of arrival.
Detectives were called to investigate, as they are with all structure fires, and at this stage it is not confirmed how the fire started.
It is not suggested the Haynes or Bundaberg Sugar had anything to do with the fire.