The Shell Service Station on Musgrave and High st in Rockhampton where a male person committed attemped arson.
The Shell Service Station on Musgrave and High st in Rockhampton where a male person committed attemped arson. Madeline McDonald

Everyday heroes honoured for stopping 'catastrophic' servo fire

THREE Rockhampton men have been recognised for their bravery in extinguishing a blaze at a service station, preventing what police described as a potentially "catastrophic" event.

David Harris and his son Joel were buying refreshments in the Berserker store late on October 7, 2015, when they saw a man pick up a pump, activate the nozzle and pump petrol onto the driveway.

The man, who said he wanted to kill himself, ignited the fuel coming from the nozzle with a cigarette lighter, spraying lit fuel and igniting the fuel already on the ground.

The service station attendant immediately activated the emergency shut off valve and called emergency services.

But Mr Harris and his son had already gone outside, asking the man to put the pump down.

When the man refused, Mr Harris grabbed him but the wrists and removed the hose, passing it to Joel to re-hang on the bowser.

At this point, Matthew Hull drove into the station, quickly parked his vehicle and helped the father and son restrain the man and take him to a safe area.

Another person then drove into the service station, having seen the flames starting to climb the bowser.

He grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the fire out while Mr Hull and the father and son restrained the offender until emergency services arrived.

All three were honoured for their "considerable bravery" with the Queensland Bravery Medal, presented as part of the latest Australian Bravery Decorations on Wednesday.

Addressing media just days after the incident, Rockhampton police said the men had helped avoid what "could have been the biggest disaster Rocky has seen for a long time".



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