House burns down in Warwick

A WARWICK family has lost almost everything after their home was destroyed by fire yesterday morning but they still have the most important things of all - their lives and love.

The Breen family - David and Sandra and their teenage children Aaron, Kayla and Shaun - had left home for work and school all but half an hour before their timber home on Devitt Street was consumed by flames shortly after 9am.

They arrived at the scene as firefighters battled to contain the fire but with the house well alight there was no hope of saving it or any of the Breens' belongings inside.

A couple of garden sheds containing some of their children's school memorabilia plus a few items of garden equipment is all the family is left with - other than the clothes they had on at the time.

Among the many family treasures lost were Mrs Breen's wedding dress and jewellery and a lifetime's worth of photos.

To compound their sadness, the Breen's pet chihuahua 'Bodey' was unable to escape the inferno, unlike his canine mate 'Pugsley', who managed to flee to safety.

“It's just like a bad dream,” Mr Breen told the Daily News.

“You read about house fires every now and then but you never actually think it will happen to you.”

Mr Breen was at work at the nearby John Dee Warwick abattoir yesterday moring when a co-worker “came running up to me”.

“It's all of the 'memory stuff' that can't be replaced,” he said.

The Breens both work at John Dee - with David in the trucks and Sandra on the night packing shift - having moved to Warwick from Mount Tamborine within the last 12 months “for a change and a new start in the country” as Mrs Breen put it.

Son Aaron, 19, works in John Dee's maintenance division while Kayla is at Warwick State High School and Shaun, 11, is at Warwick West SS. The family's eldest son, Mark, is living and working out of town.

“It's a great town and it (John Dee) is a great place to work,” Mrs Breen said yesterday.

“We've already had workmates come to us asking if they are able to help.”

The property is owned by John Dee, with managing director Bob Hart yesterday describing the Breens as “valued employees” whom the firm would assist in their time of need.

They are staying with relatives temporarily.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service investigators on scene late yesterday praised the actions of the Warwick fire crews in bringing the blaze under control so quickly.

They said investigations would continue but were expected to conclude the cause was accidental.

Can you help the Breens? Donations of clean bedding and kitchenware - which are their immediate needs - can be left at the Daily News office or call us on 4660 1310. Alternatively contact Steve Breen on 0439 781 624.

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