IN A matter of seconds, a Coast man became victim to the very same force he has been fighting for the past 15 years.
Noosa man and fire-fighter Mike Hancock was at the Australia Zoo celebrating his grandson's birthday when an angry orange blaze tore through his riverfront home August 19.
It was one of three Noosa North Shore homes that burnt to the ground by the same blaze.
Everything the 70-year-old and his wife Lynne owned was reduced to rubble.
Several priceless items, including a beautiful portrait of their 22-year-old son who had passed away, were destroyed in the fire.
In a pile of ashes were the long-time QFES worker's certificates and qualifications earned throughout his career - the original copies he had laminated and hung on the wall.
At the Rural Fire Service recruit presentation at the weekend, Mr Hancock was presented with the seven certificates he had lost in the fire.
He said the touching gesture made him feel a part of the QFES family.
"I couldn't speak highly enough of them," he said.
"There's not much you can do for someone when something like this happens, but they wanted to do everything they could, and it was very much appreciated."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.