FIREFIGHTERS RECOGNISED FOR HEROIC ACTIONS AT SINGLETON FATAL HOUSE FIRE
A special ceremony was held at Singleton Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Station on Wednesday night 20 July 2022 to recognise the courageous actions of firefighters who responded to a fatal house fire in Singleton in 2019.
Crews from the Singleton and Branxton FRNSW stations responded to the emergency incident in the early hours of 26 June 2019.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a single-storey home well alight with flames and smoke issuing from the front windows and roof. There were also reports of young children in the home.
In extremely dangerous conditions, three firefighters entered the property to conduct a search and rescue while other firefighters commenced attacking the blaze.
Two children, twin five-year-old girls, were rescued from the property but tragically lost their lives a short time later. A third child, an 11-year-old boy, was located deceased inside the home after the fire was extinguished. The mother and another child, an 8-year-old girl, managed to escape the home but suffered burns and smoke inhalation.
Member for Upper Hunter David Layzell said each firefighter being honoured had put their lives at risk to save the young family.
“The actions of the firefighters were beyond the call of duty and I’m immensely proud of the bravery they showed on the day of this tragic incident,” Mr Layzell said.
“As a community, we ask more of firefighters than we would ask of ourselves, and time and again, they deliver.”
FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the firefighters are a credit to both FRNSW and the communities they protect and serve.
“They exemplify the proud legacy of courageous service that is the hallmark of NSW firefighters,” Commissioner Baxter said.
“As on-call firefighters, the recipients demonstrated their selfless commitment to protecting the irreplaceable in the communities in which they live.”
The fatal house fire in Singleton in 2019 was the catalyst for FRNSW’s introduction of its safety visits program.
This fire prevention and education program involves firefighters visiting homes to deliver critical fire safety advice and install free smoke alarms.
Following the tragedy, firefighters visited hundreds of homes in Singleton to ensure there was at least one working smoke alarm in every property, and provided advice to residents on how to reduce the risks of fire.
Recipients of the Unit Commendation for Courageous Action:
· On-Call Firefighter Hugh Miles (Rutherford);
· On-Call Firefighter Christopher Taylor (Singleton); and
· On-Call Firefighter Mitchell Tull (Singleton).
Recipients of the Unit Commendation for Meritorious Service:
· Captain Bruce Ambrose (Singleton);
· Deputy Captain Joseph Adamthwaite (Singleton);
· Deputy Captain Jon Deaves (Singleton);
· Deputy Captain Ian Stevenson (Branxton);
· Senior Firefighter Garth Faine (Emergency Services Academy);
· Senior Firefighter Glen Whittorn (Emergency Services Academy);
· On-Call Firefighter Jason Carter (Singleton);
· On-Call Firefighter Gregg Dann (Singleton);
· On-Call Firefighter Luke Davis (Singleton);
· On-Call Firefighter John Gilbert (Singleton);
· On-Call Firefighter Darren Hamilton (Singleton);
· On-Call Firefighter Scott Kidd (Singleton);
· On-Call Firefighter John Bridge (Kurri Kurri);
· On-Call Firefighter Tracey Malloch (Branxton);
· On-Call Firefighter Steven Murrell (Branxton);
· On-Call Firefighter Adam Pozywio (Branxton);
· On-Call Firefighter Nathan Rule (Branxton); and
· On-Call Firefighter Luke Turner (Branxton).
Recipients of the Commissioner’s Certificate of Appreciation:
· On-Call Firefighter Andrew Porters (Singleton).