Couple rush to pull burning clothing from Ipswich teen
AN IPSWICH mum has described the frantic moments in which she and her partner pulled the burning clothing from her daughter's body during a house fire at Wulkuraka.
Brianna Creenaune, 16, is in an induced coma in the intensive care unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, after suffering burns to 60% of her body.
Her mother Robyn Thomas, who is in the burns unit at the same hospital, said it was miraculous that Brianna didn't suffer worse injuries.
Ms Thomas, her partner Brett Ward, and Brianna, were woken by smoke alarms about 3.30am Sunday.
In the panic that ensued, Brianna ran out onto the verandah of the burning home, where a section of the ceiling collapsed on top of her.
Her clothing caught fire, causing first and second degree burns on her arms and third degree burns on her back.
"I got burned trying to rip the shirt off her," Ms Thomas said.
"Brett got the shirt off and we rushed her into a shower, then went down to one of the kennels where we poured more water on her."
Brianna's horrific injuries required her to be placed into an induced coma. She is expected to undergo several skin graft operations in the coming weeks.
Ms Thomas said it could be six to eight weeks before Brianna is out of a coma.
"Fortunately her face and the front of her body was not burned - it's an absolute God-send," she said.
"She is puffy and swollen, but that is due to all the fluids they are putting into her body.
"It is going to be a long road for her. Once they bring her out of a coma it will be a long haul."
Mr Ward also sustained some burns in the incident, but has since been released from hospital.
He and Ms Thomas trained eight dogs of various breeds on the property - five of which died in the fire.
The dogs were trained for search and rescue, security and for performances in the Australian Outback Spectacular.
Housed in kennels attached to the house, there was little chance of saving the dogs that perished.
It is believed that a dog that was sleeping on the verandah knocked a candle over during the night, triggering a blaze that destroyed the home in a matter of minutes.
Speaking from the Royal Brisbane Hospital yesterday, Ms Thomas broke down into tears when she thought about outpouring of public support that had followed the family tragedy.
"We have had amazing support," she said. "I cannot believe how many people have come out of the woodwork offering to help.
"You've got no comprehension of what you are going to need until this happens to you.
"I am so appreciative of all the people who have offered to help and I am overwhelmed by what people have done."
Friends of Ms Thomas have set up a fundraising web page that had already raised more than $9000 by mid-yesterday afternoon.
To contribute, visit mycause.com.au