Hero tradie saves trapped woman from NYE firework disaster

By Jarrod
5 Min Read

A Melbourne tradie has been hailed a hero for rescuing a disabled woman from her burning home after it was accidentally set alight by neighbouring fireworks. 

Local carpenter Jon Croft was celebrating New Year’s Eve with his family when he heard a backyard firework celebration turn deadly, engulfing a neighbouring property in flames. 

“There was a few crackers going off and we were out the front with the kids watching,” Mr Croft told Nine News after the incident.

“One shot off a bit lower and then seconds later there’s a lady screaming and all of a sudden all hell broke loose.”

Responding to cries for help from the building, the quick-Croft ran across the road to rescue a 57-year-old wheelchair-bound woman who was unable to escape the blaze. 

“I ended up running across the road down to where the fire was and the front bedroom of the house was almost engulfed,” he told reporters.

“Everyone could see her and not too many people were doing anything so I had to run over there.

“About 50 per cent of her bedroom was on fire and she was stuck in there and it was getting worse by the second. [I’m a] little shaken now just thinking about it.”

Croft managed to pull the woman to safety by breaking her bedroom window on the ground floor with a nearby brick. Suffering only minor burns, the woman was then taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  

The woman’s daughter was reportedly not at the home when the flames erupted and said she was “very grateful” that Croft was there to save her disabled mum.

“A poor innocent woman in her house, she would have been scared,” added the daughter.

Mr Croft said the incident had left him “a bit shaken”.

“It’s sort of sunk in now, like I didn’t think nothing last night but right now I’m a bit shaken,” he told Nine News.

Victoria Police said they are investigating the incident, which is being treated as suspicious.

Officers responded to over 60 firework-related incidents across the state during New Year celebrations, with multiple resulting in serious injuries and fires from people illegally setting off the explosives in the home.

Everyday Aussie hero’s

Thanks to Croft’s quick-thinking heroics, one woman is still alive to celebrate the new year. But the carpenter is just the latest in a long line of brave tradies answering the call for help from Aussies in need. 

Last year, we saw a Sydney tradie save a 15-year-old boy from a similar house fire incident in the city’s Inner West. Acting from instinct, the man used a ladder to rise above the roaring flames in the three-storey building and bring the boy to safety.

Two months later, we also saw a brave group of Melbourne tradies racing to pull 45 children out of the wreckage of an overturned school bus after it collided with a truck on a main road.  

With the bus leaking diesel and no emergency services in sight, the tradies jumped into action with no concern for their own safety and saved the lives of all the students. 

And the list goes on. A quick Google search of “Tradie rescues” will net you hundreds of similar heroic stories dating back over the last two decades, from saving drowning swimmers and daring house fire rescues to stopping dangerous criminals dead in their tracks.

Is it just right time, right place? Or are the nation’s blue-collar workers the unsung heroes protecting everyday Aussies when no one else will? 

Either way, it might be time to add ‘hero’ to the job description.

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.

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