Neighbours left stunned as man killed in house fire
RESIDENTS of a tight-knit Wurtulla community is in shock after the body of a man in his 60s was found inside a house destroyed by fire.
Neighbours heard a loud explosion at the Piringa St address about 11.30am yesterday and ran out to see the front of the home well alight.
The flames quickly spread throughout the rest of the house and at one stage were threatening a property next door.
Residents flocked to the street to watch six fire crews battle the blaze for more than an hour.
Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the house from several kilometres away.
A Queensland Police Service representative last night said the fire did not appear to be suspicious but QFRS investigators were yet to finalise their report.
The dead man's wife is believed to have been at work when the fire broke out.
Brothers-in-law Craig Watson and Damien Strong were the first on the scene.
They yelled out and banged on the door to alert who may have been inside the home but were forced back by the flames and falling powerlines.
"It looked like it started in the lounge room. We grabbed the garden hose and did what we could but it just got stronger," Mr Strong said.
"A powerline then fell down next to me and we had to get out of there."
"Flames were starting to shoot out as well; the heat was getting more intense.
"I wish there was more we could have done. I asked the firefighters what we could have done but they said it was past saving."
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said the tragedy had rocked the neighbourhood.
"We're shocked, absolutely shocked," she said.
The dead man had lived in the home with his wife for about 15 years and they kept mostly to themselves.
"He was a real happy sort of person," she said. "They were just a nice couple that kept to themselves.
"He wasn't a socialite, but if you had a garage sale he might come and have a look."
The neighbour said the man was of Dutch heritage and in recent years had worked as a gardener.
He and his wife would travel overseas at least once a year.
Their latest trip was to the Easter Islands last year.
"They sent us a postcard," the neighbour said.
The couple's dog was found in the man's car.