AS SHE waited for her insurance company to arrive, a mother of three was left feeling scared and unsafe when strangers approached her unsecured West Gladstone home.
Though she had only left her home 30 minutes prior, the Gladstone Mum, who wished to remain anonymous, had to race back to her home on Thursday morning when emergency services contacted her about reports of a house fire.
"They called me a lot of times but I didn't answer because I was busy dropping off the kids at daycare," the Mum said.
Neighbours told The Observer they called 000 when they spotted smoke coming from one of the home's windows.
"The firefighters had to hit the door down with a hammer and barge it open because we locked it this morning," she said.
Once the fire was extinguished, and safety checks were completed, the Mum said she had to sit and wait for her insurance company to arrive.
"I had to wait for a contractor to arrive and secure the property, before we could do anything else. We were worried for the security (of the home) after the incident as people were seen to be walking around the area.
The Mum said she could see the strangers "having a look" at the home from the front yard."
"It was lucky I was here ... but it was scary," she said.
The long-time local said she appreciated all the help people in the area had given her after the fire, thanking the many who came to her aid.
She said it was an unfortunate event but could have been so much worse.
"We're just lucky we have good neighbours. And thank the Lord for smoke alarms," she laughed.
The Mum said the fire started after she left her toaster on the stovetop.
"I don't leave it on the bench because I don't want it to burn the bench, ironically. So I left it on the stove and must've bumped the nob on the stove ever so slightly," she said.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.