Family’s forever home wiped out by wall of fire


IT WAS meant to be their "forever home".

A gorgeous property overlooking bushland at Cooroibah on the Sunshine Coast where David and Holly Kemp could raise their two-year-old daughter Ruby.

But their life would begin to change forever when a severe bushfire ripped through acres of dry vegetation.

The flames licked at the couple's back deck and pergola Friday evening, before a wall of fire "three storeys high" ignited again on Saturday morning and wiped out the young family's home.


Holly and David Kemp at their devastated home in Cooroibah. Picture: Annette Dew
Holly and David Kemp at their devastated home in Cooroibah. Picture: Annette Dew


"We feel absolutely gutted, heartbroken and numb," Mrs Kemp said from the razed property yesterday.

"Every room in the house is gone.

"It's hard to see our family home - where we've created so many memories - turned to ashes almost," Mr Kemp said.

Friday morning started bizarrely, with Mr Kemp needing treatment in Brisbane after a lizard got caught in his pushbike tyre, causing him to flip over and injure his arm.

The day would only get worse and see Mr Kemp required to race home to be with wife Mrs Kemp and their young daughter while they evacuated their property along Lake Cooroibah Road.

"We were lucky we had our irreplaceable things in one area so we could grab them quickly and get out," Mr Kemp said.

"We have everything in the back of the car that we have."

Cherished items, like toys passed down from Mr Kemp to his daughter, lay charred and dirty on the floor of their family home.

The couple are still deciding how they will tell their little why they can't return home yet and need to stay with family.

At Jayden Peterson's home nearby, his beloved motorcycles were destroyed by the fire while he helped his neighbour move her horses out of harm's way.

The 19-year-old said that he hoped maybe his good deed would give him good karma and protect his property, but it wasn't to be.

"You'd think I would've gotten some good luck after ditching my possessions (to) help save horses," he wrote on Facebook.

"Even when ya do good deeds for people the universe can still bite ya in the arse.

"I can't believe what's happened to this beautiful town."