CANOBOLAS Local Area Command’s Sergeant Mick White was off-duty when he ran into a building fire in Bathurst last year, rescuing a mother and her young son from the blaze, which was rapidly escalating out of control.
The police officer, who works in Orange, had just bought a coffee, when he realised something was very wrong at a nearby Keppel Street Chinese restaurant, and with little regard for his personal safety, ran into the blaze to rescue the pair.
His efforts have earned him a Regional Commander’s Bravery Award, to be presented with on June 6.
Eight years ago he ran into a burning building in an attempt to save the life of a man trapped in a house fire in Goulburn.
Sadly the man died in the fire, and Sergeant White was hospitalised suffering smoke inhalation.
But the attempt to save the man’s life earned Sergeant White a Commissioner’s Award for Valour.
After receiving the award he promise his wife Kate he wouldn’t do anything “silly” again, but when last year’s fire in Bathurst unfolded before him, he didn’t hesitate.
Smoke was already flooding out of the shop when he arrived but he didn’t hesitate as he ran inside and found a woman in the kitchen with a young child.
“When I went in I didn’t know what to expect, I just saw smoke pouring out of the restaurant and the visibility inside was bad.
“I think she was trying to save things from the fire, but I yelled to get out.”
He then came back into the kitchen but nothing could be saved.
“It was very difficult to breath and the smoke was getting really thick,” he said.
Sergeant White then evacuated the units above the restaurant.
Reflecting on his actions that day, Sergeant White said he acted on instinct.
”It’s what police do.”