"The memorabilia lost is immeasurable": fire guts Noosa icon
AT 9am this morning curls of gloomy grey smoke were still smouldering from the ashes of one of Noosa's iconic buildings.
This was not a famous Hastings Street store, nor a heritage hinterland building, just a simple creme besser block building on Eumundi Service Road, Noosaville. The home for at least 35 years to Coastal Laundry and Dry-Cleaning and Classic Malibu, a surfboard manufacturer and retailer.
Firstly, there was no one hurt, at least not in body. But within Classic Malibu premises, founded and owned by Long time Noosa locals Peter and Janet White, the pain comes with the devastation of a lifetime's work.
The fire, that saw the arrival of five fire brigade units at midnight on Tuesday night, had destroyed vast amounts of the White's extensive collection of surfing memorabilia.
Queensland Fire and Rescue investigators together with police said the damage was extensive and the building gutted.
Surfer, Director of Noosa Festival of Surfing and journalist Phil Jarratt said the loss to his friends Peter and Janet, was immeasurable.
"The memorabilia collection is irreplaceable," he said.
Mr Jarratt described a collection that ranged from the last surfboard shaped by Noosa Surfing Legend Bill Wallace to early surfing decals.
"Peter's unique templates were there too," he said.
On the Classic Malibu Facebook page, Peter and Janet expressed their grief.
"We woke this morning to devastating news: our home for the last 20 years, our iconic, bright red factory, has burned to the ground," they wrote.
"The fire took hold sometime around midnight last night and gutted both our beloved factory and the property next door. Reasons are as yet unclear, but we are both stunned and heartbroken."
The couple also put the call out for positions for their staff who are now out of work.
"We would like to ask you all to contact us if you might have any staff positions available, either in retail or, more importantly, for our devoted glasser, Ricky, and our sander and finisher, Dan," the post said.
"Both lads are hard-working and dedicated, experienced and quick to learn new techniques."
A neighbour said a load of surfboards had just been delivered the day before, in time for the Noosa Festival of Surfing in March.
The building's owner of 28 years, Ian Macdonald, arrived to speak to a number of distressed middle-aged women leaning over a grey Ute.
"I can't speak to the media yet, "Macdonald said.
"I need to speak to the people who work here."
Senior Sergeant Scott Nolan said notification of the fire was received at 12.10am. Police were consulting with Fire and Rescue personnel and had interviewed witnesses. He said they had ruled out any suspicious circumstances.
"However, there were a number of fuel sources there," he said.
"And there is the possibility they could have contributed to the fire.
The building has been cordoned off.
UPDATE: An iconic Noosaville surf store has burnt down in a fire early this morning.
The store Classic Malibu has been extensively damaged in a blaze which started about 12.30am on Eumundi-Noosa Rd.
Neighbouring business Coastal Dry Cleaners was also damaged.
Fire investigators are on scene. The area is under police guard as investigations are underway to determine the cause of the blaze.
EARLIER: Police are investigating a fire that destroyed two business premises in Noosaville early this morning.
Just after 12.30am, emergency services attended a building on the Eumundi-Noosa Road in response to fire alarms in a business at the address.
The blaze was extinguished, but two businesses, a dry cleaning and a surfboard business at the location received extensive damage.
Police are guarding the scene, and investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.