August 21, 2020
The courage of three men who rescued a toddler from a fatal house fire in Kingaroy in 2018 was officially recognised during a police ceremony in Murgon on Friday morning.
A 47-year-old man and two small children – aged 2 and 11 months – died in the fire on March 24, 2018.
A four-year-old boy escaped unscathed thanks to the actions of three passers-by.
The bravery of Lex Petersen, Zachary Hairon and Patrick Drinan, who smashed windows to save the child, was recognised with the presentation of Commissioner’s Certificates at the Queensland Police Service Dalby Burnett Patrol Medal and Award ceremony held at the the Murgon PCYC.
The official commendation, read out during the ceremony by Inspector Graeme Paine, detailed the trio’s actions on that tragic day:
“Mr Lex Petersen, Mr Patrick Drinan and Mr Zachary Hairon were all driving in the vicinity in their separate vehicles at the time when they observed the house on fire. There were no open doors or windows in the house.
“The mother of the children then came running up the footpath screaming that her partner and babies were locked inside the house.
“Mr Petersen, Mr Drinan and Mr Hairon approached the woman and obtained the key from her. Mr Petersen went to the front door to attempt to unlock it, but the flames and heat were too intense to approach the house.
“The men then used a large piece of timber to break a front window. They observed a small child run out of the room and go to the next room.
“They again used the timber to break the next window. The child came over to the window and was able to be lifted out of the window and removed from the house.
“Mr Petersen then ran to the back of the house, up the back steps and unlocked the back door but was unable to push the door open. He then returned to the front of the house which was well-engulfed by fire when emergency services arrived.
“Mr Petersen, Mr Drinan and Mr Hairon are awarded Commissioner’s Certificates for their brave actions.”
They were presented with their certificates by Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon BM APM.
Mr Petersen told southburnett.com.au his only wish was that he had been able to save more lives that day.