News

Late Christmas for firies after blaze delays plans

Christmas came late for Takura rural firefighters (back) Peter Murphy, Jack Luchjenbroers, (front) Jill Luchjenbroers, Sarah Murphy, Linda Rangeley, Ken Stanton and James Murphy who were among the numerous crews fighting the Black Swamp Creek fire on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. They are pictured celebrating in Ken Stanton's bar.
Christmas came late for Takura rural firefighters (back) Peter Murphy, Jack Luchjenbroers, (front) Jill Luchjenbroers, Sarah Murphy, Linda Rangeley, Ken Stanton and James Murphy who were among the numerous crews fighting the Black Swamp Creek fire on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. They are pictured celebrating in Ken Stanton's bar. Robyne Cuerel

KEN Stanton's beer was still there on his table when he returned home from battling bushfires at Sunshine Acres.

Too warm to drink, he had opened it 24 hours earlier on Christmas Day and taken just one "swig" before his phone rang.

The voice on the other end told him about a small fire that had flared up in his "patch".

By the time he reached the site near the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Rd roundabout with fellow Rural Fire Brigade volunteer Sarah Murphy, that small blaze had become a monster.

"I contacted fire communications and requested additional units," Mr Stanton said.

"Then altogether there were 10 rural units, the urban guys and some additional units."

Like others who battled the blaze, Mr Stanton surrendered his opportunity to spend Christmas with his friends and family to fight the fire.

But it was his actions on his Boxing Day return that were those of a typical Queenslander.

"When he came home he went straight out to the table and said, 'can I have my beer now?'," his partner, Linda Rangeley, said.

On Friday, Mr Stanton, Ms Rangeley and the eight other members who were first to the Black Swamp Ck inferno belatedly celebrated Christmas together.

They gathered in Mr Stanton's home bar, dined on a spread of turkey, ham, pork and vegetables, and when the host once again raised the beer he never got to finish, they prayed the phone wouldn't ring.

Topics:  bushfire, christmas day, firefighters, fires, fraser coast, maryborough-hervey bay rd, rural, sunshine acres, takura



Maryborough will soon officially be an RV Friendly Town

Maryborough will soon be an RV Friendly Town.

Here's the criteria we're about to meet to be considered RV friendly

How a selfie with a shark landed a man behind bars

The man appeared in court via video link from prison.

Local Partners

Tommy goes home in emotional Bachelorette episode

The Bachelorette contestant Tommy Saggus.

BRISBANE bachelor hopes show will give him more confidence.

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'