Bravery awards for fire heroes

Ken Farnes and Joel Craddock will receive bravery awards.

TWO Colac district men will receive bravery awards today for heroic acts during a fatal Colac house fire.

Ken Farnes and Joel Craddock ran to action during the fire which killed Colac father Rod Wintle in 2010.

Mr Craddock helped Mr Wintle’s three children escape from the Elisinore Street fire.

Mr Farnes tried to rescue his mate Mr Wintle from the fire after Mr Wintle ran into the home looking for his children.

But Mr Wintle, a father of four, died in the blaze.

Victoria’s Governor Alex Churnov will present Mr Farnes, of Beeac, and Mr Craddock, now of Melbourne, with Royal Humane Society of Australasia awards at Government House today

Rod Wintle died in a house fire in 2010.

“I just went in and helped a mate like anyone else would,” Mr Farnes said.

“I just didn’t think of anything, I just went in there, tried to get in the back door but it was locked.

“I went in the front door and flames were about six or seven foot high, I couldn’t get to him, I only got to as far as the lounge room door and that was it, it was too much.”

Mr Craddock, a nurse, said it was a “fair honour” to receive an award.

“I never expected anything, I guess it’s nice,” the 21-year-old said.

“I don’t really go out to do it, I just seem to do it with my job and being a lifesaver.”

Mr Farnes said he was proud of Mr Craddock’s actions in rescuing Josh, Brodie and Tianna Wintle from the early morning fire.

“He done a very good job getting the kids out,” he said.

Colac police Criminal Investigation Unit’s Detective Senior Constable Mick Palmer said the two men were “heroic”.

“They were very brave in their actions,” he said.

“Their efforts definitely saved the lives of the three children.”

Emergency service personnel working at the fire nominated Mr Craddock for an award.

Det Palmer then nominated Mr Farnes for his actions after the Royal Humane Society contacted him to verify Mr Craddock’s efforts.

“I nominated Ken outlining his actions, and they got back to me agreeing to that,” he said.

“They should be very proud of receiving the awards.”

Mr Farnes said he still thought about the fire and Mr Wintle’s death.

“Occasionally it still hits me and things like that,” he said.

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