A man has described the bravery of police officers who rushed into a burning house to help a fatally injured elderly man.
Retired plumber, Garnet Dale, 70, tried to put the fire out with a garden hose before police arrived.
He was driving home on Beach Road on Sunday, August 18, at 7.30pm.
He saw a "yellow flickering flame" coming from Bronte Crescent, Sunshine Bay, and detoured to investigate.
They (police) put their jackets or something over their faces and charged in there ... they were so braveGarnet Dale
"I thought it was really odd; no one would be burning off, because it's so windy," he told the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner.
Mr Dale found a burning mattress on the front lawn, leaning on the house, and ran to grab a garden hose.
"I found a hose reel and rolled it out to put water on the fire," he said.
Bystanders told him they had called Triple-Zero (000) and were unsure if anyone was inside the house.
Suddenly, Mr Dale noticed curtains in the front room catch alight.
"I was concentrating on putting the fire out on the mattress and then a gust of wind must have caused the curtains to catch fire," he said.
"I was getting cooked on the back, having to hose the inside of the room, which went up in flames."
Mr Dale controlled the blaze, but said the home was a smouldering mess.
"There was smoke coming out of the roof, you couldn't see a thing inside," he said.
A male and female police officer then arrived at the scene.
"I was so impressed; it looked like they put their jackets or something over their faces and charged in there," Mr Dale said.
"They were so brave.
"The true heroes were the police that day."
Mr Dale watched as the police carried a 90-year-old-man from the smoke-filled home.
He and bystanders helped paramedics and the police carry the man to an ambulance.
He said the police drove the ambulance, while paramedics stabilised the man in the back.
"It was very heroic," he said.
The devout Christian remains grateful that he spontaneously took an alternative route home that night and was there to help.
"It was miraculous," he said.
"I am not a firefighter, I am a plumber."
Sadly, the man died from his injuries a short time after being taken to Batemans Bay Hospital.