NEIGH­BOURS SAVE WOMAN AND DOG FROM HOUSE FIRE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis

A GROUP of quick­think­ing neigh­bours res­cued a woman from a burn­ing two-storey town­house on Sun­day.

Paul McGrath had been at a birth­day party at his mother’s house a block away when his fam­ily no­ticed smoke ris­ing.

He be­come con­cerned when he re­alised it was com­ing from the roof tiles.

About 3.30pm Mr McGrath’s cousin called the fire brigade, while he, daugh­ter Jes­sica and brother-in-law David Faulkner ran to the aid of the 31-year-old res­i­dent who was cling­ing to the out­side bal­cony fence.

“She was just hang­ing there, cry­ing and scream­ing,” Mr McGrath said. “I en­cour­aged her to put her foot on my hand and we just brought her down from there.”

When the woman was safely on the ground she then be­gan to worry about her dog still on the bal­cony.

“By that time some­one had come around with a lad­der,” Mr McGrath said.

En­ter hero No. 4: Ed­ward Wills.

“I was at home sit­ting on the lounge watch­ing a movie,” Mr Wills said.

“I saw smoke and didn’t take much no­tice then 10 min­utes later, I heard a per­son call­ing out ‘has any­one got a lad­der?’.

“Then I went out­side and re­alised a house was on fire. So I raced back in­side be­cause no one else had a lad­der.”

Mr McGrath said the whole res­cue took about two min­utes. In hind­sight he re­alised the risk he and his fam­ily took. “Now I think about it there could have been a pos­si­ble gas ex­plo­sion,” he said.

While he did not rec­om­mend civil­ians rush­ing to­wards a house on fire, Mt Druitt Fire Sta­tion Com­man­der Daron Lesslie com­mended the brav­ery of the group.

“They took a lot of per­sonal risk, but the lady was on the bal­cony and so was the dog” Com­man­der Lesslie said.

“It’s dan­ger­ous but they didn’t know how long we were go­ing to be. They did the right thing at the time.”

The woman is in a sta­ble con­di­tion at Black­town Hos­pi­tal. In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing into the cause of the fire.

Fire heroes Paul McGrath and brother-in-law David Faulkner and (in­set) the Dhar­rukhar­ruk town­house on fire. Main pic­ture: David Swift. In­set: Mt Druitt Fire Sta­tion

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