Bunnings hero: Bravery medal for burning car rescue
While others ran away from a vehicle fire, Kevin Dowd ran towards the scene and rescued the trapped driver moments before it exploded.
Mr Dowd was still on crutches and recovering from surgery two weeks earlier when he was waiting in his car at the Bunnings Lismore carpark while his wife Joann was shopping in 2016.
So when he realised someone was in danger he want over, wrenched open the car door and helped the man, whose seatbelt was melting while flames lapped at his skin, out of danger.
"I managed to roll him over and get him out," Mr Dowd said.
"He was screaming in pain and fear.
"Then some other people took him into Bunnings and put him in a shower and he was still screaming."
Later Mr Dowd learned the car contained gas cylinders and containers of fuel.
But the Spring Gove resident denies he's a hero.
"I just did what anybody else would have done," he said.
But Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan and Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner disagree.
Mr Dowd was presented with a Royal Humane Society of NSW Bronze Medal Bravery Award from Mr Hogan and a Certificate of Merit from NSW Police, and a Commendation Award from Richmond Police District on Tuesday.
The RHS awards recognise the incredible lifesaving efforts of people whose exceptional thinking and rapid responses saved lives in our community.
Mr Hogan said Mr Dowd put himself in danger to pull a man out of a burning car.
"This was an extremely dangerous situation with flames engulfing the car," he said.
"Without Kevin's brave actions the driver would have received extensive injuries.
"Everyone else fled away from the car in fear.
"Kevin who was on crutches at the time went towards the car as a man was on fire inside.
"This was an extremely dangerous situation as flames were engulfing the car.
"Kevin put his own safety at risk to assist a stranger.
"Just moments later the car exploded. Kevin, if not saving the man's life, certainly saved him from much more severe injuries."
Supt Tanner said Mr Dowd was an extraordinary person to have acted so bravely.
Mrs Dowd said her husband is a very modest man.
"He was working in a nearby butcher shop when the Granville Rail Disaster occurred in 1977," she said.
"He was one of the first people who rushed to assist."