Thanks guys: Neighbours do right thing in fire drama
WE'VE all heard it before ... look out for your neighbours and they'll look after you.
So when Akashdeep Singh and Sundeep Rana sensed something was wrong inside another unit in their South Gladstone apartment complex on Friday night, they didn't hesitate to jump into action.
"We were coming from the birthday party of a friend, and we could hear a fire alarm beeping," Akashdeep said.
"We started looking around, like 'where is it coming from?' We were afraid it was coming from our house."
They soon located the source of the noise, an apartment across from their own.
"We could hear the beeping, but also we could hear someone snoring in their sleep," Sundeep said yesterday.
Inside the apartment, Curtis Island worker Joshua James was indeed fast asleep, despite the piercing sound from the alarm and smoke beginning to fill the unit from a pan on his stove.
After a long day's work, Joshua had dropped by the pub on the way home, where he had won three meat trays.
"I came home and wrapped them all up... I put two pieces of steak on for myself to have something to eat for dinner, but then I just fell asleep," he said.
"Just from working constantly... I was that knocked out I couldn't even hear the alarm going."
Unable to wake Joshua by knocking on the door, Akashdeep and Sundeep decided to take action straight away and called triple zero.
"Because it's a late night, normally people ignore this kind of thing," Sundeep said.
"But we thought no, we should go and check, (because) you never know."
Police were the first to arrive on the scene, where they were able to enter the smoke-filled unit, wake Joshua and help him outside.
He was assessed for smoke inhalation by paramedics shortly afterwards, and said the incident was "a big wake up call".
"That's how people do lose their lives," he said.
"My body had just shut down... and they thought I might have been knocked out a bit by the smoke as well."
Joshua said he had one simple message to pass on to the men who may have saved his life: "thank you".
"All I want to say is thank you, that's very kind of you mate to do that," he said.
"If (they) hadn't... it could have been a lot worse."
He said he was lucky his alarm had worked at all.
"I only just moved here a short time ago... the fireys said to me the battery was flat," he said.
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson said the men's decision to call emergency services was the right one.
"It was very lucky this person had vigilant neighbours," she said.