‘I just grabbed bodies’: neighbour saves kids from fire
BEACONSFIELD'S Mark Burgess ripped out a security screen to get into his neighbours' burning home after he heard screaming.
Mackay Police Sergeant Marcus Brown said it was a "heroic" act, but Mr Burgess said he did not feel like a hero.
"I didn't think twice about helping. You have no option. They have no option. You just have to get in and help them," Mr Burgess said.
"I don't feel like a hero. I did what had to be done at the time. I was the right person there at the right time.
"Last night was warmer so we slept with our windows open. If we didn't have the windows open Taryn (Mark's wife) wouldn't have smelt the smoke."
The six children and their mother escaped the fire that broke out at their home about 6am yesterday.
Mum Anna Smith acted quickly, ordering the children to evacuate.
But two of them ran to their bedrooms instead and it was the quick thinking of Mr Burgess which saved their lives.
"He asked if there was anyone left, and I said there were two left, one in each bedroom and he ran down to them," she said.
"I just want to say a huge thank you to all my neighbours who helped out."
Mr Burgess has a building background so knew how to remove the security screens.
"I eventually ripped three windows out to get three kids out, two at the front and one down the side," he said yesterday.
"The children were right there (at the window) thank goodness.
"They were frantic.
"I couldn't see anything, I could hear them crying, I reached in, could feel a child, grabbed them and threw them out.
"I yelled at them go find your mum, go out near the bin because it's bin day.
"At least they'd be away from the house.
"It was a wall of smoke.
"There is no other way to explain it.
"It was just black down the side of the house. As long as you kept below the window height you could see three foot in front, soon as you come above a metre you couldn't see."
"I ran bashing on all windows to see if there was any more noise, I didn't know how many were left in there.
"I reached in the window to grab the last child and could feel hair, then an ear so I knew the shoulder was there, so I grabbed her under the arm and pulled her out.
"As soon I got her out she hit the ground running.
"I couldn't tell you boy, girl, age, size, it was just literally grabbing bodies and throwing them out. I could hear them screaming.
"When I finally got out the front and asked the mum are all the kids here, and she said yes."
Mackay Police Sergeant Marcus Brown said Mr Burgess performed a 'heroic' act.
"He bought at least two children out and has probably saved their lives."
"(He was) going into a burning building. It was well ablaze when we got there," he said.
"We will be putting recommendations through the police service for appropriate recognition."