Gladstone shocks man who 'lost everything' in fire
COL Cartwright thought he lost it all when he watched everything but the clothes on his back go up in flames.
But what he gained was a place in Gladstone's community.
The 71-year-old has been piecing his life back together since August 18 when a combination of LPG, fuel and grass under his car sparked a personal disaster.
His tent, which he was living in for two weeks while he waited for a rental to become available, his trailer and his car went up in flames.
He could do nothing but watch as fire crews from Tannum Sands worked to douse the blaze and save his belongings, to no avail.
Since then, Mr Cartwright has learned how generous the Gladstone community can be.
The day after the incident he was contacted by his potential landlords at Riverstone Rise, offering him their home with one week of free rent.
The grandfather, who says he's "a glass half full" type of person, is looking forward to giving back by volunteering in Gladstone.
The retired mechanical fitter said he had also been offered food, clothes and a great deal on a car.
"I think you get a hell of a lot more from giving than you do from receiving," he said.
"There's so much more satisfaction.
"There are other people out there who need help, too, so once I'm settled that's what I'm going to focus on.
"I'm going to stay in Gladstone for a good while because of the people.
"I've done a lot of travelling but I've never experienced anything like this."
Mr Cartwright was also humbled by the news that a five-year-old Tannum Sands boy, Jed Wagner, wanted to offer him help.