Off-duty Qld paramedic saves mother, child and pets from burning home

An off-duty Queensland Paramedic is being hailed a hero after running into a burning home to save a mother, her young daughter and their beloved pet dogs.

Officer-in-charge of Murgon Queensland Ambulance Service Station, Michael Formica, was visiting his family in Toowoomba on Tuesday afternoon, when he spotted a Harristown house engulfed in flames.

“I noticed the smoke pretty well straight away,” Mr Formica said.


“I walked around the back. There was a gentleman hosing through the security door.”

He said he then heard screaming coming from inside the home and entered the house through the back door to find the mother inside.

“I pulled her back out of the smoke. She was covered in soot from head to toe and screaming,” he said.

The mother indicated that her 8-year-old daughter was still inside the burning home, with Michael then crawling back through the house to find the young girl.

He said it was impossible to see due to the thick black smoke so retreated back outside to smash a window in a bid to let some of the smoke out.

After re-entering the house, Michael managed to rescue two dogs who were hiding in bedroom cupboards before finding the little girl in the garage.

He helped the youngster out before reuniting the mother, daughter and their pets.

“The mother was quite upset, as you could imagine. She had just lost most of her possessions,” Michael said.

However, thankfully the pair managed to escape serious injury, with the mother suffering smoke inhalation, while the daughter was miraculously uninjured.

Michael suffered smoke inhalation and a small burn on his hand, with the off-duty paramedic being praised for his heroic actions.