A man who pulled a teenage girl from a burning cabin in Port Fairy says he didn't think twice about helping out.
Benjamin Martin joined Stephan Fourie and Benjamin van der Burgt in saving the 14-year-old girl who was inside a burning cabin at the BIG4 Port Fairy Holiday Park on December 21, 2017.
The heroes were invited to Government House in Melbourne on Thursday to accept an Australian Bravery Decoration, awarded last year.
Mr Martin and Mr van der Burgt are two childhood friends from East Melbourne who were holidaying with their families during the 2017 summer holidays.
Mr Martin said he was lying between his two young kids in the family's pop top caravan when he heard smoke detectors going off.
His wife Kylie ran in and said a cabin located adjacent to their van was on fire.
"I leapt out of bed and when I worked out what was going on, I went straight to a small fire hose that was close by," Mr Martin said.
He said he tried dousing the fire which was quickly engulfing the cabin.
Meanwhile, Mr van der Burgt attempted to kick open the front door but it was locked and barricaded from the inside. He called 000 before checking through the cabin's windows where he saw a teenage girl inside.
Mr Martin said he passed the hose to someone else as he helped to successfully kick in the door.
He said they started crawling about a metre into the cabin but were forced back due to the thick toxic smoke and the increasing heat.
"We were both on the ground and I remember I looked over at 'van der' and we said 'we can't go any further, we're going to end up killing ourselves here'," Mr Martin said.
He said the pair then went to the side of the cabin where a teenage girl had appeared at a small window.
Mr Fourie, who had alerted people in nearby cabins to evacuate as the flames were spreading, helped the two men pull the teenage girl to safety.
"She probably shouldn't have fit through the window but we got her out," Mr Martin said.
"The intensity of the fire and the thick black smoke was quite bad and for those reasons I'm glad we got her out. I think it was only a matter of minutes before that cabin was fully engulfed in flames."
Mr Martin said that during the blaze, he asked bystanders to help move the family caravan, which was just metres from the fire.
"There were about 10 or 15 bystanders who helped get rid of it," he said.
"Someone backed their car up and the annex and stuff was ripped off in an all mighty rush before it was driven away. The caravan was still popped up at that moment."
Despite the bystanders' efforts, Mr Martin's caravan was badly damaged.
Three cabins were burnt out.
Mr Martin said they stayed at the caravan park following the fire but moved to a different site.
He said he felt for the business owners, who were affected by the blaze just days before Christmas.
Mr Martin said he didn't think twice about helping out.
"As soon as we realised there was a girl in there, we just had to do it," he said.
Mr Martin will attend Government House tomorrow with Mr van der Burgt and their respective parents.
"I'm humbled (by the award) but it's something we felt that we needed to do," Mr Martin said.
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