Hero in thongs honoured for fire bravery
HE'S the "Aussie tradie" who ran into a burning Townsville home with only thongs on his feet and he's just received another prestigious accolade.
Steven Morris was among 10 North Queensland residents who were recognised by Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey yesterday for feats of bravery and community service at a special ceremony at The Ville.
The father-of-two, who was joined by wife Sharon and his parents to accept the award, said hero status was difficult for him to accept.
"The recognition is lovely but I'm not usually comfortable with it but I do appreciate it," he said.
"I don't consider myself a hero, it's just the Australian way … and I would like to think if my boys were in a house on fire that someone would at least try and do something even if it wasn't successful."
On the morning of August 24 last year, Mr Morris ran into a burning multi-storey home at The Point, on Castle Hill, to rescue a disabled man trapped upstairs.
"People say what were you thinking, and I don't think I was thinking, I was just acting on impulse," Mr Morris said. "After it had all finished the reality of what could've happened hit me and when I got home and saw my family because one of my sons cried and said I could've died."
In July, Mr Morris was also recognised with a Bronze Medal at the Royal Humane Society of Australasia's annual bravery awards.
Mrs Morris said she was not at all surprised by her husband's actions and she was grateful to still have him after the ordeal.
"I'm very proud and was just speechless when it happened," she said. "He really could have died. He was so sick for a week afterwards from the fumes and the toxins.
"I didn't realise how dangerous it was to go into a house fire."
Mr de Jersey said Mr Morris and the other recipients epitomised the spirit and the very best of humanity.
"The never-say-die win by the North Queensland Cowboys shows … exceptional achievements are not confined to the southeast," Mr de Jersey said.
"The diversity and richness of Townsville, North Queensland and far north Queensland life is exemplified through the achievements and service recognised in these awards."