Australian Indigenous Security Service security officer Garry Hockings, who noticed smoke and flames coming from this Kennedy St house while on patrol early yesterday morning, kicked in the front door and pulled a man to safety.
Australian Indigenous Security Service security officer Garry Hockings, who noticed smoke and flames coming from this Kennedy St house while on patrol early yesterday morning, kicked in the front door and pulled a man to safety. The Bowen Independent

Hero Garry dragged man from fire

WOULD you run into a burning building to rescue someone?

Garry Hockings did and through this heroic action he possibly saved a man's life yesterday morning in Bowen.

However, the 53-year-old security guard said he was only doing what anyone would have done.

"You don't leave someone lying in there coughing when there is a fire," he said.

When faced with such a situation, Mr Hockings said, you don't think you just act.

"By the time you stand around and think something else happens, you just do it," he said.

Mr Hockings was conducting his regular patrols early yesterday when he smelled smoke around 4am.

"I thought that was strange considering the weather," he said.

So he drove around to investigate.

A block and a half away, on Kennedy St, he saw a house with "smoke blowing out and flames in the front window".

"I called triple zero, then went to the front door. I heard choking and coughing inside," he said.

The front door was locked and the windows had security screens, so Mr Hockings had to kick the door in. It took two goes before the door opened.

"It was hot. The foyer was alight, the ceiling was blistered and buckled... fire was in the ceiling... the bedroom, where I heard the coughing from, when I opened the door it was full of smoke," he said.

"He was barely conscious on the floor beside the bed... he couldn't get up."

Mr Hockings dragged the man out the bedroom, through the front foyer and out the front door onto the patio.

He then alerted the neighbour before grabbing the hose in an attempt to put out the fire.

"I managed to put the fire in the foyer out but had no hope of getting the rest," he said.

So, he dragged the man off the patio and into the yard where he waited until the fire crews and paramedics arrived.

A 38-year-old man was treated for minor smoke inhalation and was admitted to Bowen Hospital for further observation.

Bowen Police Station officer in charge Acting Senior Sergeant Adrian Geary said he had basically saved a man's life.

"If he hadn't taken that action... it could be a lot more grim an outcome," he said.

It took two fire crews about 40 minutes to extinguish the blaze, Bowen Fire and Rescue Service station officer Darrin Male said.

Two bedrooms and the roof trusses were severely fire damaged and the entire one-storey house received smoke damage.

Act Snr Sgt Geary said there was nothing at this stage to suggest the fire was suspicious.


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