Resident critically injured in blaze
A BALLINA man is lucky to be alive after his home at Lakeside Holiday Park was destroyed by fire.
Enva Adams, was taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter with burns to his forehead and arms.
He was unconscious at the time and also suffering from smoke inhalation.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said Mr Adams was in a critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit.
The blaze started in Mr Adams’ bedroom about 6am yesterday, when a cigarette lighter set fire to a mattress.
The flames soon spread throughout the room.
Despite efforts from neighbours, who rushed to help, the structure was completely destroyed.
Reg Yager and Neville Endres were first on the scene, after being alerted to the fire by another neighbour, Margaret Hall.
“At about 6.15am, I heard a banging noise,” Ms Hall said.
“I thought he (Mr Adams) might have been doing some work in his garage.
“But then I saw the flames coming up over his roof.
“I realised the sound was all the windows smashing.
“It’s still hard to believe that when I looked out our window, that’s what I saw.
“I rang 000 but all I got was a recording. So I called out, ‘fire, fire’. Reg and Neville went and got some hoses.
“He (Mr Adams) was very shaken when we got to him.
“But he is also very, very lucky to be alive.”
Mr Yager said the 15 minutes it took for firefighters to get to the caravan park ‘felt like four hours’.
“We couldn’t even get into the house because the flames were just so intense,” he said.
“All we could do was keep the water going. I wasn’t going to put that hose down until the firies got there.”
Mr Endres said he saw flames ‘20 feet above the roof’.
“You see something like that happening, and you’ve just got to do something,” he said.
Lakeside Holiday Park manager, Gerald Searle, said he was proud that residents had rallied to help each other.
“They really just all pulled together to try and save someone’s home,” he said.
“They should be congratulated for helping out.
“Without them, the situation could have been much worse.
“It’s amazing, because this could have really got out of control.”
Victor Carter was one of the residents who helped control the flames.
But it was an experience which brought back some bad memories.
“My family home burnt down when I was quite young, so to see this happen wasn’t good. It’s really shaken me up,” he said.
Mr Yager agreed: “I was fine at first, but then it really hit me what had happened.”