'It looked like a big bonfire': Owner wakes to inferno
THE new owners of an historic homestead which sat unoccupied at an Oakey property for years had planned to dismantle the structure after recently taking ownership of the block.
But for Renee Ryan, her partner and two young children, the plan has been left in ruins after an inferno tore through the two structures bordering the front of the 4AK Rd property early yesterday.
The first Mrs Ryan knew of the blaze were "loud bangs" which woke her about 12.40am.
"I looked out the bedroom window and could just see this big, red glow," she said.
"It looked like a big bonfire."
The 4AK Rd property, with a brick home about 200m from the timber dwellings, had sat on the market until Mrs Ryan took possession of it at Easter.
It wasn't until the weekend that the family moved from Moonie to the new home, and it was Mrs Ryan's first night at the property without her partner.
She called 000 within minutes of seeing the blaze, and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews arrived on scene by 12.55am.
But despite their best efforts, the dried timber dwellings, estimated to be at least a century old, could not be saved.
QFES Inspector Warren Buckley said the the radiant heat from one of the buildings ignited the second.
Both were left as smouldering piles of rubble as investigators worked to determine how, and where, the fire originated.
Mrs Ryan said her family had planned to dismantle the old homes and sell the timber as part of the land-clearing process.
She said she now had to wait until the cause of the fire was determined, adding it was fortunate there was no-one living there at the time.
"I have no idea how it started; it must be suspicious to go up like that," she said.
"I hope the police can work out if it was lit or not."
Police guarded the property yesterday before Scenes of Crime officers investigated the fire, the cause of which is undetermined.