Not many people would risk their own life to save the life of a stranger.
But Warren Lachmund did.
In the dark, early hours of the morning on Saturday, August 12, the West Pennant Hills residents was in the midst of his usual truck run through Ingleburn in Sydney’s south when he noticed something out of the ordinary.
“It’s not unusual to see smoke from a log fire, especially in winter,” the 55-year-old said.
“But I saw this thick, black smoke under a street light. I thought, ‘that’s an electrical fire’.
“Then I saw smoke streaming out from the front window of this old weatherboard house.”
What happened next can only be described as “instinct”.
Fearing for the safety of those who may have been inside at the time, Mr Lachmund decided to jump out of his truck and try to raise the alarm to any occupants who were unaware of the fire.
“I screamed out and faintly heard what sounded like an old lady say ‘I can’t get out, the door’s locked’,” he said.
“I said get away from the front door and I’ll kick it in. With one kick the door flung straight open.
“This massive cloud of smoke came out. It was like coal dust – it was horrendous.
“(The trapped 52-year-old woman) looked at me with glazed eyes. I saw the devastation in her eyes.
“So I said ‘come on sweetheart’ and I grabbed her, dragged her down the hallway and onto the front lawn.”
Mr Lachmund said he asked the woman if anyone else was in side and she replied only her pets.
He ran to the front door and called out but only heard “complete silence”.
A small dog was found dead once emergency crews had extinguished the blaze.
Macquarie Fields police’s Detective Sergeant Rod Cutler praised Mr Lachmund for his actions.
“If not for Warren, we may have had a more serious situation,” he said.
“Well done mate. I will follow this up to see you recognised for your brave actions.”
Mr Lachmund also praised emrgency services including Macquarie Fields police, who were called to the scene after the he had pulled the woman from the blaze.
“Macquarie Fields police were there in a heartbeat and no mistake, this was a life or death situation, no doubt about it,” he said.
The 52-year-old woman is currently in Concord Hospital.
The blaze is believed to have been started in the kitchen and is not considered suspicious.