Dog saves family as house burns
SIX children and two mothers are alive today thanks to Mitzu the dog.
The family pet's barking alerted Warwick mother-of-three, Robyn Jurgensen, to a fire roaring through her lounge room roof and spreading dangerously close to the room in which one of her daughters was sleeping late Friday night.
Looking at the pile of ashes that was once her Ogilvie Road home and her belongings on Saturday, the 30-year-old said she felt “lost”.
Her feelings swung from relief that everyone escaped unharmed and gratitude for the support of family, friends and the community, to sadness that all her possessions were destroyed and that she no longer had a home.
Ms Jurgensen, who works for Ryanie for Tyres, and her three children Taylor, 12, Alexis, 9, and Koby, 5, were at home with her cousin Patricia and her cousin's three children on Friday night.
“I was in bed reading, just about to fall asleep when I heard Mitzu barking a lot,” Ms Jurgensen told the Daily News.
“I heard a weird noise coming from the roof and I just jumped out of bed and ran to the lounge where I saw the roof was on fire.
“After that it was just mayhem. I dialed triple-0 and ran to get the kids out of their beds.
“Alexis' roof was crumbling around us.”
Firefighters arrived quickly on the scene, but by then most of the house was destroyed by the blaze.
It is understood the fire started around the chimney area, but Warwick Police confirmed investigations were ongoing.
Warwick station officer Dennis Burton was on scene with a crew on Saturday morning dampening down the ashes.
He said the Queensland Fire Service received a triple-0 call alerting them to the fire at 11.49pm Friday night.
“Two crews from Warwick responded and upon arrival, the entire roof section and the south western section of the house was fully involved in fire, with the fire quickly spreading throughout the remainder of the building,” he said.
“All occupants within the house, and that included six children, escaped unharmed.
“Due to the quick spread of the fire through the building the decision was made to conduct defensive attack on the fire which involved no crews actually entering the building.
“Crews were here until about 6am Saturday morning.”
Ms Jurgensen's mother Gail said she was incredibly thankful none of her family was hurt.
“I'm one lucky grandmother to have them all here with me safe and well,” she said.
“That dog is going to get a rump steak tonight.”
The Warwick community is already rallying around the family.
“I just want to thank everybody who's contributed,” Ms Jurgensen said.
“St Vincent's gave us a trolley full of clothing. Apex, Lions, Big W and Food For Less have helped us so much, not to mention our family and friends. We're so appreciative.
“Right now I think we're the luckiest family in the world to make it out safe, but I still feel lost.”
With school due to start next week, the race is on to get the children settled into a home.
With three children, three dogs, two cats, Hector the cow, Licker the Horse and many chickens, it's a big family to rehouse but Ms Jurgensen won't be giving up any of her pets anytime soon after Mitzu's actions saved her family.