Source: AAP | Published: Friday June 23

Difficult to establish death toll, says fire chief
Attempts to establish an accurate account of the death toll at the Childers hostel fire had been hampered as many survivors have now left the area, fire services said today.

At least 15 people were feared dead and several more were missing after the overnight fire at the backpackers hostel, 250 kilometres north of Brisbane.

Police said there were 86 people staying at the Palace Backpackers hostel, mostly young overseas backpackers.

Acting area fire commissioner Jeff Wright said no estimates of fatalities could be confirmed until all the hostel fire survivors were contacted.

"There are attempts to regain (contact) and confirm they are the true facts," he said on Channel Nine.

"Police are currently doing a roll call, to determine and signing off those people who are available to confirm their safe exit of the building."

Mr Wright said the fire, which began on the second-floor of the building, would have spread quickly through the sleeping quarters.

"These people would have had no warning," he said.