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Hero firefighters honoured for saving family from burning home

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21 Oct 2014
Four MFB firefighters have been formally acknowledged for their heroism, saving a Melbourne family from their burning home.

In the early evening of 5 November 2013, a crew from St Albans Fire Station – Station Officer Dean Opie, Leading Firefighter Ross Wenlock, Leading Firefighter Robert Thomas and Firefighter Michael Poore – attended a house fire on Caxton Avenue in Kings Park.

On arrival they found the house had been deliberately set alight and a woman and children were still inside and trapped.

A teenage boy, who had managed to escape, quickly directed firefighters to the rear of the property where they could see a mother and her two young daughters screaming for help and struggling for air in a house rapidly filling with smoke.

Although the window had been smashed, thick bars prevented the firefighters from being able to easily access the family.

Station Officer Opie and his crew decided to attempt a dangerous rescue.

They entered the home and started to hose down the ferocious flames, providing them passage to the room where the family was trapped. Through the smoke, LFF Thomas and Firefighter Poore located the woman and her daughters, aged three and four, grabbed them under their arms and dragged them to safety.

It was at this point they realised the mother was almost six months pregnant. She was administered oxygen by firefighters until Ambulance Victoria arrived on scene.

Today Chief Officer Peter Rau presented the crew with Chief Officer’s Commendation, and said that without their heroic actions there would have been four lives lost that day.


From left: Leading Firefighter Robert Thomas, Leading Firefighter Ross Wenlock, Firefighter Michael Poore, Station Officer Dean Opie and Chief Officer Peter Rau.

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