Neighbour to the rescue

DON'T argue with your neighbours.

That's one thing Stanley Shuker will never do after he was rescued by next-door neighbour Leigh Portch as fire crept up to their Rockonia Road homes.

At a barbecue hosted by Rockhampton Regional Council yesterday for residents in the Lakes Creek, Koongal and Nerimbera areas, the two men joked about last Saturday's rescue.

But Leigh explained the situation was no laughing matter and he was glad his family was safe at a friend's house.

On Saturday morning, Leigh couldn't see any fire, but could “hear the roar”, so he began hosing down his house.

Within 15 minutes the fire was at the back of his home.

“I jumped off the house, but I couldn't run fast enough,” he said yesterday.

“I was surrounded on three sides by the fire.”

Leigh realised his neighbour Stanley, who is in a wheelchair, was inside his home so he went in and told him they had to go.

He said he pushed Stanley as he ran down the street.

“I think I gave him the fastest ride of his life,” he said.

Stanley joked that he thought he had a jet pack on his back.

“I didn't think I could stop,” he said.

Stanley said he was pleased to have such good neighbours who would go out of their way to help.

“I think I might get him a medal. I didn't think I'd be here now, and I didn't expect to have a home by Sunday.”

The council sausage sizzle was organised for residents to share their bushfire experiences.

The Mayoress Regional Charity Foundation passed hats around for gold coin donations to go to the Rural Fire Brigade.

The council is also planning to host a sausage sizzle for Mount Morgan.




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