Family picking up the pieces after fire destroyed their home
A FAULTY power point could be what cost a Glenella family almost everything they own, probably triggering the fierce blaze that tore through their third generation home.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the fire, which gutted the Murrays Road home.
Kira Battams was mowing the lawn late on Friday afternoon when she spotted a man frantically waving at her from an entrance to the property next to the Bruce Highway.
Absorbed in her work, Ms Battams hadn't noticed the fire, which had already begun engulfing the wooden house.
However, the Good Samaritan, who was on the phone with emergency services, certainly had.
He continued to signal to a confused Ms Battams, who eventually turned to see her residence well alight.
"I was finishing off a little bit of mowing I had left, so Dad (Paul Balchin) could come home to the lawn mowed," Ms Battams said.
"All of a sudden, I looked up and saw this fellow walking into our yard. He was waving and trying to get my attention, but I didn't get it at first.
"I waved back at him, he pointed up and I spotted the smoke. I sped up and parked the (ride on) mower, grabbed my young son and stepdaughter and told them to run away as fast as they could.
"I really, really want to find the man who let me know, to thank him. His family are so blessed to have such a good man, such a gentleman, like he was."
Ms Battams said if it wasn't for the man she may not have noticed the fire until the situation worsened.
"But my room is gone, my son's room is gone, the hallway, my sister's room is gone, my dad's room, the kitchen, bathroom - I guess the toilet survived," she said.
Tears streamed down Ms Battams' face as she was forced to call her dad, the home's owner, to pass on the terrible news.
He had been holidaying in Airlie Beach when the call came through.
"Kira was hysterical. She rang me about 6.30pm. It's lucky the kids were down by the chook pen playing with the chooks," Mr Balchin said.
"When it happened is usually about the time Kira puts the young fellow (her son) down for a bit of a nap. It's pretty lucky.
"The house is probably mostly gutted. I might be able to save a computer and a freezer, but everything else is gone."
Like his daughter, Mr Balchin would love to get in touch with the man who raised the alarm, and then flagged down fire crews.
"We don't know him from a bar of soap. But I would like to get in contact to thank him, get him a carton... or whatever," he said.
Yesterday, Ms Battams, who is now staying with family, offered her heartfelt thanks to the firefighters who battled to save the home, as well as police who were on scene assisting.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help the family get back on its feet. Titled 'Balchin family have lost everything' it had raised almost $1700 of its $3000 target by yesterday.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation by police and QFES..