THOUGH he nearly lost his life saving a neighbour from a burning unit, father of four Ricky Bromfield said he would do it all again.
The Henley Brook resident has been recognised for his efforts as one of 24 recipients of a Bravery Medal from the Federal Government.
“I only found out last week,” he told The Advocate last night.
“I wasn’t expecting it.”
Australian Bravery Decorations recognise acts of bravery by members of the community who selflessly put themselves in jeopardy to protect the lives or property of others, as Mr Bromfield did more than two years ago.
Mr Bromfield said he was woken about 5am on November 6, 2013 to an explosion at his complex on Brathwaite Road, Lockridge.
“I heard this blast,” he said.
“I ran outside and saw debris everywhere.”
After he got his family to safety in the carpark, he noticed his neighbour Darren’s roof on fire.
“I ran up the stairs to his (Darren’s) unit and had to kick the door in,” he said.
“His unit was full of black smoke, and he was sitting on the couch on fire.
“He was smouldering, he was really badly burnt and had skin hanging off him.
“I don’t think there was a part of his body that wasn’t burnt.”
Darren was taken to Royal Perth Hospital with burns to most of his body.
If it was not for Mr Bromfield’s heroic actions, the outcome could have been a lot grimmer.
“Just as I got him out, the whole unit went up in flames,” he said.
“It was like a big fireball.”
Mr Bromfield said it was not until after that he realised he was just seconds from certain death.
“I try not to think about it,” he said.
“But I know what could have happened.”
The family’s unit – along with another five units – was destroyed, and the damage bill for the complex was $1 million.
Mr Bromfield said the ordeal still haunts him.
“For the first few months I would wake up to that exact explosion at 5.20,” he said.
“It’s got better now, I try not to think about it.”
Mr Bromfield also said Darren would have to get skin grafts for the rest of his life.
“They’ll never stop,” he said.
“He has to wear compression bandages on his hands, toes, nose, most of his body.
“But I’m just happy I saved his life.”