CQ blaze: Last-minute call saves mum from horror house fire
A LAST-minute decision to wake Blackwater's Catrina Harvey may well have saved her life.
The mother of three was sleeping off a migraine and nose bleed at 2pm on Sunday when her husband thought to wake her to have something to eat.
The family walked out their front door soon after and by 3pm their home and all its contents - including precious photographs - had burnt to the ground.
"I don't handle having migraines or headaches very well, so my sons call me the dragon," Mrs Harvey said.
"They said, 'Dad, don't wake the dragon, she's got a headache, just leave the dragon alone.'
"My husband, Andrew, said, 'No, we better go and wake Mum up, we aren't sure if she has had something to eat yet and she can come around and we'll have lunch together.'
"We left the house at 2.30pm and by 3pm the house had burnt to the ground.
"My heart goes out to the neighbour that rang to notify us of the fire, he thought me and my two youngest sons were still in the house at the time burning alive.
"I couldn't imagine the mental anguish he went through."
Mrs Harvey recalled the scariest moment of the fire was dreading finding their eldest son's beloved dog dead, a thought she described as unbearable.
"We had Rose chained up on the back veranda so she wouldn't chew the clothes out on the line, but after the fire erupted it frightened her and she managed to slip her collar and escape," she said.
"We found out three hours later she had survived as she made her way back home, the kids were relieved because that's what they were focused on.
"She's safe and loving all the extra attention."
Mrs Harvey said they had been in the house since December 24, 2004, and it was the only home her youngest son had everknown.
"I can do without everything in the house but I no longer have any photographs," she said.
"I can rebuild, furniture can be replaced but memories can't."
Mrs Harvey said the support shown to the family had been very humbling and much appreciated.
If you wish to donate and help raise funds to get the Harvey family back on their feet, see the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/ support-the-harvey-family.
Police are still investigating the blaze
ACCORDING to Officer in Charge of Blackwater Police Station Sergeant Rob Smith at around 3pm on Sunday, January 28, Blackwater police were conducting patrols when they saw a plume of smoke coming from the vicinity of Quandong St.
"Upon arrival Blackwater police assisted Queensland Fire and Emergency Service officers by maintaining a perimeter around the incident whilst fire officers worked to bring the fire under control and save surrounding houses," Sgt Smith said.
"Whilst the home was totally destroyed, nearby houses sustained relatively minor damage.
"At this time it is too early to establish the cause."
Blackwater police are investigating.
If you have information for police, phone Policelink on 131 444.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.crimestoppers qld.com.au.