Mackay man receives bravery award after Emu Park fire
WHEN Col Ibbertson saw flames leaping from the front verandah of the neighbour's house in Emu Park, he sprung into action.
He called triple zero and then raced to the burning house to wake the five residents.
It was 12.15am on January 1, 2012.
Yesterday, Col's courage was rewarded when he received a bronze medal at The Humane Society of Australasia bravery awards.
The machine operator from Mackay got to relive his life-saving heroics at the awards ceremony held at Brisbane City Hall.
Col, who was visiting his mother at the time, was watching a movie when he heard the crackling of fire and saw the flames.
He leapt over the fence and made for the burning house.
After finding the front door locked, he climbed through a side window.
Smoke was quickly filling the house.
Col started yelling "Fire! Fire!" to alert the residents. He rushed down the hallway to the main bedroom, waking two adults.
He then woke two children who were sleeping in their beds before escorting to safety a third child who was crouching behind the door of another bedroom.
Col saw the five occupants to safety before the home was swallowed by flames.
The reluctant hero then went back to protect his mother's house.