Neighbour gives harrowing account of fatal fire
A GOFUNDME page has been set up to help cover funeral costs for the victim of Warwick's deadly house fire, 56-year-old Nick Czugaj who had lived with his mother, Julie, at the Wantley St home as her carer.
Julie was in hospital at the time of the fire and as well as the devastating loss of her son, has lost all possessions.
"This has been devastating for our family and it was not something we could have ever predicted would happen nor is it something we prepared for," the fundraising page read.
"We are slowly trying to get everything again but we have had to start over and also organise a funeral as well."
The tragic death has had a profound impact on Warwick residents, including neighbour Karen Foster, who was one of the first to hear and see the fire.
Ms Foster made the call to 000.
Ms Foster owns both houses on the northern side of the burnt out house and lives just two doors down.
Ms Foster said she was at home when the blaze started.
"I heard a strange noise outside, it kind of sounded like a car, like someone was in the driveway," she said.
"It was enough to make both my husband Jason and I get up to look.
Ms Foster said her husband headed out to the front yard and she headed out the back.
"When I got to the back door I could see the flames and quickly ran back to find Jason who had spotted the fire by then as well."
It was at this point that Ms Foster called 000.
"As soon as I'd put the call through, I ran back out to the street and Jason was there with a couple of other guys who had showed up from somewhere," she said.
"We started calling out to Nick.
"We thought he was home as we'd heard him about an hour earlier."
At this stage Ms Foster said they grabbed a hose and tried to douse the flames.
"The fire had started at the back of the house," she said.
"But it was far too hot and getting bigger by the second, the hose did nothing, it was useless.
"The other guys that were there went to the front door and kicked it in, but that was all they could do, the house was completely filled with smoke - it was so thick, it much too dangerous to enter the house."
Ms Foster said all the while they were calling out to the occupant of the house.
"There didn't appear to be any movement inside at all but the fire was so hot, we couldn't get close," she said.
"Then the fire crews arrived and got to work.
"The house was completely engulfed in 10 minutes."
Ms Foster said the firecrews did an awesome job.
"They saved the houses on both sides, which were danger of catching fire themselves due to the intense heat and proximity of the blaze.
"There's only minimal damage to our property and to the fenceline but it could have been much much worse."
Ms Foster said the realisation of Saturday night's events were just beginning to sink in.
"It's a bit surreal and we're a bit numb today to know that someone has died.
"It's a real tragedy."
You can support the family online at gofundme.com/nickczugajfuneral.