Meet this Woolooga fire hero - we want to know them all
IF it wasn't for his quick thinking, the Woolooga State School would probably be burnt down.
Woolooga resident Ashley Blake has been nominated in News Corp's Pride of Australia Awards for helping extinguish flames as they threatened to destroy the local school last Thursday.
There are heroes all around us. But often, because they are humble and act on behalf of others without fear or favour, their stories remain untold.
The Pride of Australia Medal is one of News Corporation Australia's most important community endeavours, playing a fundamental role as a vehicle to celebrate and acknowledge the remarkable contribution and achievements of members of the Australian community.
The Gympie Times wants to recognise the heroes of the Woolooga Fire, so let us know who you think should be nominated.
Mr Blake, who lives on Cahill Rd with wife Linda and their triplets Phoenix, Tywin and Indica first rushed to warn his friends of the fire approaching their home after he noticed it jump Edwards Rd.
Police arrived soon after with the same warning, before blockading the road and telling Mr Blake to vacate the area.
Woolooga State School, at which his children are students, had been evacuated at around 11am, but Mr Blake noticed flames approaching the building on his way back.
"I saw it had jumped into the front yard so I went in there and hooked up the hose,” he said.
"I was starting to put it out because it was under the actual building, and some officers pulled up and saw what was going on, then they helped me put it out.
"I think some embers had blown across the road and fallen into the garden, because that and the school roof was catching.
"Some officers asked me not to go in, but I snuck around the corner. It was a bit naughty but the school would have gone up in flames if I didn't do something, I felt that I needed to act.”
Mr Blake said he commended authorities for their efforts and "were just trying to do their job”.
He said he and other locals had then stayed out all night to battle the blaze from Andrew Rd and Ormes Rd.
Pride of Australia nominations have now opened and will close on Sunday, October 21.
To nominate a Gympie unsung hero, go to www.prideofaustralia.com.au.