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Good Samaritans to the rescue during two separate home fires

Published: 23rd October 2007

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Commissioner Greg Mullins today praised a retired firefighter and an off-duty police officer for their actions during two separate home fires which occurred within 20 minutes of each other in different parts of Sydney this afternoon.

Commissioner Mullins also thanked a young girl who became a 'Triple Zero hero' when she called Triple Zero (000) to report one of the fires.

"If not for the actions of these good Samaritans there could have been a tragedy tonight. Fires can happen at any time and are a constant reminder of the importance of having smoke alarms and an escape plan," he said

About 4.40pm, firefighters from St Andrews and Campbelltown were called to a house fire in Gladiator Street at Raby in Sydney's south west.

"The off-duty police officer saw the fire and tried to search the house for a teenage girl who is usually home at that time. He suffered burns and smoke inhalation in his attempts to locate the girl who thankfully was not home.

"Without the training and special protective equipment worn by firefighters, this officer has put his own safety on the line to help someone else and I congratulate him for his efforts," Commissioner Mullins said.

About 5pm, the NSWFB received a Triple Zero call from a young girl reporting a fire in a unit in West Street at Balgowlah on Sydney's northern beaches.

"Firefighters from Manly, Dee Why and Mosman were quickly dispatched to the fire but in the meantime the retired firefighter, who was passing by, has seen the fire and gone to help," Commissioner Mullins said.

"The retired firefighter rescued the woman, who suffered burns and smoke inhalation, and administered first aid until fire crews arrived. No one else was home at the time.

"Both fires could have had tragic consequences had firefighters not been notified so quickly by calls from members of the public to Triple Zero."

Police and the NSWFB are investigating the causes of the fires.