Humble hero: Midland caregiver saves local man from house fire

When St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospital's Switchboard Operator Andrea Cummings and her daughter Amy stumbled upon a house fire, they took swift action to save a life. 

10 Feb 2023

Switchboard Operator Andrea Cummings at St John of God Midland Public Hospital

It was a regular Wednesday night as Andrea drove Amy home after a family gathering. Andrea said they were having a casual conversation when suddenly her daughter cried out in alarm. 

“My daughter was looking to her right speaking to me in the driver’s seat and shouted ‘Oh my god mum that house is on fire.’ I immediately did a U-turn,” she said.

Andrea and her daughter Amy took swift action. While Amy called emergency services, Andrea went next door to try and get the neighbours attention. 

“I told my daughter to call 000. While she was doing that I jumped a small wall to the neighbour’s house to get their attention.”

“I then ran back to the house where my daughter was screaming and banging on the windows. We yelled and shouted, trying to alert anyone inside.”

At this stage the flames had already completely engulfed the front room. They were able to access the backyard and saw an elderly man standing inside. 

“The house was full of smoke. We shouted at the man to unlock the door and he did. I then pulled him outside asking frantically how many people were inside,” Andrea said. A taxi driver who had stopped to assist carried the man out to the front of the house. 

Neighbours had begun pouring out of their houses and emergency services arrived moments later. The man was admitted to the hospital for several days to receive treatment for smoke inhalation and irritation to his eyes. 

Andrea and Amy have since met the man they saved and discovered the incident happened only four days before his 99th birthday. He expressed his gratitude for their quick thinking and heroic actions that night. 

Andrea said doesn’t see herself as a hero, and would do the same thing again in a heartbeat. 

“I really do think that I did what anyone would do in this situation and I am very happy for such a good outcome.”

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