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13 November, 2020

Historic Atherton house demolished.

A historic house in Atherton that was destroyed by fire in August has finally been demolished.

By Phil Brandel

A house that was destroyed by fire in August has finally been demolished.

The house fire broke out on August 9 at around 9am on the corner of May Street and Gibson street in Atherton.

The historic house was demolished on November 5 and in previous incarnations the house had been an Ambulance station, a hostel and a boarding house.

Most recently the house had been converted into flats.

Damien Jenson’s father John was the owner of the building said that his dad had owned it for nearly 40 years.

 “It’s a very unfortunate situation that has affected my father and he is devastated,” he said.

“The financial impact is huge, but the emotional impact is worrying as well.

“For a 76-year-old to lose something he has worked for his whole life really takes an emotional toll.”

It’s believed that Damien’s father also lost a lot of personal belonging that were being stored in the building.

The cruel twist to the story is that the house had been on the market for some years and a buyer had been found but they were yet to exchange contracts before the fire.

One of the residents who was living in the house was Lani Deacon who was just waking up with her three children when she noticed her flat filling up with smoke.

Lani has 2 boys and a girl under the age of 8 and they escaped from the fire with just the clothes that they were wearing.

 “It was only a matter of minutes by the time we got out of the house; it was well and truly on fire.

“We lost everything as my main priority was getting children out.”

It’s believed that the fire was started deliberately and that police currently do not have enough evidence to lay charges even after witnesses have come forward with compelling statements.

Sadly Damien believes the arsonist may getaway. “It would seem they will never be held accountable for their despicable actions which is sad,” he said.

“It took its toll on my Dad, he retired from his local job soon after and has moved away from Atherton full time now.”

A police spokesperson said investigations were continuing.  Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000



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