ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A local woman returned home yesterday to find her share house reduced to smouldering ashes after mistakenly believing she had turned off her hair straightener before leaving for work.

Kennedy McGregor, 27, a social media marketing executive, left for work in the morning confident that she had switched off the device.

“I was sure I turned it off,” McGregor said, standing before the charred remains of her home.

“I even remember checking it before I left. But I guess I was just on autopilot.”

McGregor’s anxiety about her straightener was a known quirk among her friends and housemates.

“She’s always worried about leaving it on,” said Paddy Johnson, a local barista who lost his collection of vintage vinyl records in the fire.

“There were times she’d get halfway to work and turn around just to double-check. It was always off when she got back, until today. Fuck’s sake. I’ve lost everything. The heat has warped all my records. You can’t even frisbee them, they’re that fucked.”

The house, a typical French Quarter share house known for its questionable safety standards and eclectic decor, is now just a memory. The fire consumed everything from second-hand furniture to personal possessions accumulated over years of thrift store visits and roadside finds. The landlord is said to be ecstatic at the news as the property was fully insured and not heritage listed, leaving it open to redevelopment into cheaply-made luxury apartments.

Housemate Emily Simmons, a university student and bartender, lamented the loss of her belongings.

“I’ve lost all my worldly belongings. My shitty clothes. My shitty possessions. They’re all gone. Even my groceries.” Simmons said.

Queensland Fire responded promptly, but the fire had already engulfed the entire house by the time they arrived.

“It was a fast-moving fire,” said French Quarter Superintendent Dave Williams.

“These old houses with all their clutter burn quickly.”

McGregor now faces the dual challenge of finding a new place to live and mending strained relationships with her housemates.

“I can’t believe this happened. I’m so sorry. I just hope they can forgive me. I’m just lucky that nobody owned anything valuable or anything. The most valuable thing in there was my full bag of cashews in my drawer.”

More to come.


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