Modest hero: 'it was nothing'
Being crowned a hero is just starting to sink in for a Milton man, who risked his life to save a young boy from a burning house.
Eighteen-year-old Daniel Mackie, an apprentice auto-electrician, said the realisation of what he had done when he heard the child was still inside the Union St property had just started to sink in.
He had been standing outside his workplace, talking to a friend when he saw a woman rush outside a neighbouring property carrying a newborn baby in each arm.
Smoke started pouring from the house and when the woman said her young son was still inside he went in without hesitating.
However, his heroic actions were just what he hoped other people had the courage to do in a similar situation, he said.
"I personally think it was nothing ... It's that saying, treat other people the way you want to be treated.''
Milton chief fire officer Alan Tapp said yesterday emergency services were called to the Union St house shortly before 5pm.
Two fire engines from Milton, and a third from Balclutha, attended the scene. On arrival, they found the house well-involved in fire but all of the occupants in the house – two adults, and three young children – managed to escape the fire, Mr Tapp said.
"They're pretty lucky all right. It went up very quickly. There was a lot of smoke and then it just burst into flames.''
All the internal doors inside the home, except for one, were open at the time so they acted as a vacuum, helping to spread the fire throughout the remainder of the property, Mr Tapp said.
About 60 per cent of the property was damaged by fire and a further 20 per cent had water and smoke damage, he said.
However, firefighters managed to contain the fire within about 20 minutes of arriving. They remained at the scene for until about 9pm, dampening down the property, he said.
The fire was believed to have started after food cooking on the electric stove-top in the kitchen set alight, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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