Beloved dog escapes fire on motorbike, QPS praised
THE evacuation notice came as a shock for Ballandean mother Julie Beecham, who raced home early from her teaching shift at Glen Aplin to save her beloved pets from fire.
But it was too late.
Daughter Kate was studying in Toowoomba when she got the call.
"Mum was in absolute hysterics,” she said.
"By the time she'd gotten home the police had blocked off the road to our house and she couldn't get in, she couldn't get anything and she was so worried about the animals.”
It was a heartbreaking moment for Kate.
"I felt sick to my stomach,” she said.
The family moved into the property at Ballandean more than 25 years ago and had slowly accumulated an assortment of animals, from black sheep to donkeys.
For Kate, the most special of those animals was her dog Billie, which she had rescued from an abusive home three years before.
"I'd heard there was a family abusing this little dog so I went over, handed them $50 and just took him,” she said.
"He was covered in bruises and fleas and he still flinches if you move too quickly.”
Julie pleaded with Sergeant Paul Kelly to help and, much to the family's surprise, the man raced up the hill on his motorbike to check on their property.
"We've had fires before but no one has ever gone to that effort for us in the past,” Kate said.
"He went above and beyond.”
The property stood in the path of the blaze so Mr Kelly decided to bring the beloved pet back to safety.
"Little Billie sat up on his petrol tank with his paws on the handlebars and the family watched him come all the way down the mountain, smiling like he was having a great time,” Kate said.
"When I saw the photo I was in tears.
"That man has a heart of gold and he went above and beyond for the people of the community that day.”