Brave cops ran into burning building - again and again
THREE cops battled flames and smoke to save backpackers and an elderly couple.
Police officers Nathan Malcolm Blain, Barry John Haran and David Murray went to the rescue when a blaze broke out in September 2015 at an Airlie Beach backpackers.
Sergeant Haran and Senior Constable Murray were on patrol when they saw smoke rising from the hostel.
They found smoke and flames coming from a kitchen, an Australian Bravery Decorations citation read.
The cops called for backup. Senior Sergeant Blain made his way to the hostel.
The first two police officers went inside, found three dazed adults and led them out of the building.
But then the police officers heard two elderly people were missing.
With smoke and flames inside the building, all three cops entered, using clothing as face masks.
With help from the hostel manager, the cops rescued the couple.
Firefighters had not yet arrived - and then it was discovered even more people were unaccounted for.
"They again entered the building but were forced to retreat due to the intensity of the smoke and zero visibility,” the citation added.
The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service arrived soon after.
Medals were bestowed on the three officers at the Investiture Room in Brisbane's Government House on Tuesday.
Eleven of the 20 Australian Bravery Decorations recipients were current or former Queensland Police Service staff.
Governor Paul de Jersey presented the awards to people from across Queensland and northern NSW.
The Governor thanked and praised all the award recipients for their valour. -NewsRegional