TWO Castlemaine police officers who rescued a couple in their 80s from their burning house on Tuesday night say it could have been a potentially fatal situation if they had not arrived when they did.
Senior Constable Mark White and Leading Senior Constable Chad McKenzie were alerted by a local taxi driver that a house was burning on Forest Street about 10.15pm on Tuesday.
The policemen arrived within 30 seconds to find the front verandah alight and the back of the house just starting to catch flire.
Senior Constable White ran into the house to save the sleeping couple and their dog, while Leading Senior Constable Chad McKenzie turned off the gas and doused the flames with a garden hose before the CFA arrived.
Senior Constable White said the man was disoriented and the woman was asleep when he entered the house. “It took on pretty quick and it’s an old portable-type building, so, from what the CFA told us, another five minutes and the entire house would have been completely gone,” he said.
“And the two residents were pretty old and their health wasn’t the best so they weren’t moving in a hurry so it might not have ended well.”
Senior Constable White said the couple were fine, but in shock.
“It probably hit them today what occurred,” he said.
“One third of the house has been burnt and the rest has water and smoke damage.”
Senior Constable White was taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation, but was back on the beat yesterday and hoping for a quieter evening.
“We both feel fine, just a bit tired. It had been a long night,” he said. “That’s the good and bad thing about this job; you never know what’s going to happen day in or day out.”