IT MAY have been worth a lifetime of hard work, but it was all taken from Tracy and Joseph Donaldson in a matter of minutes when their Archer St residence suddenly caught alight on Saturday morning.

The rental property caught fire about 1am but the family of six were fortunately woken by the sound of their smoke alarms.

Quick-thinking Joseph rounded up the family, which included an elderly woman with respiratory problems and a baby, and escorted them out of the house in less than a minute.

"I could smell the smoke, but I couldn't see anything. We just got out of there as quick as we could," Joseph said.

"It would have only taken about two minutes before the house was completely up in flames."

Speaking outside the destroyed property yesterday, Tracy said she was coming to terms with the fact that they had lost everything they owned.

"The hardest part is realising the fact that there is nothing in that house anymore. Everything we have is gone," she said.

"But what can you do? You've just got to get on with it and be thankful nobody was hurt."

The family said they had been overwhelmed by the amount of assistance offered by the community and were thankful for everybody's help, including two men who arrived and assisted the family as they were evacuating the property.

QFRS firefighter Noel King, who attended the devastating fire, said the blaze could have been sparked by an electrical fault, but investigations were continuing.


Swimmers keen to cash in at Beef City meet

Premium Content Swimmers keen to cash in at Beef City meet

Hundreds to hit the water at 2nd World War Memorial Aquatic Centre.

Premier announces NSW-QLD border decision

Premium Content Premier announces NSW-QLD border decision

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces border decision

FULL LIST: Emerald court appearances today

Premium Content FULL LIST: Emerald court appearances today

Here is a list of matters listed at Emerald Magistrates Court on Friday.