By Mitchell Clarke
A Cranbourne teenager is being hailed an unsung hero for running into a smoking house to rescue a mother and her two young children.
Tenaia Salesulu, 16, was at a park on Bellarine Drive, Cranbourne with her five-year-old cousin Aysher on Monday morning, 12 October, when she heard a smoke alarm going off at a nearby house.
As smoke began to billow from the property, Tenaia heroically ran into the house, despite not knowing who or what was inside.
“Nothing really was going through my mind at the time. I just knew they were in need of help,” she told Star News.
“I couldn’t see much but it was really smoky. It was filling up with smoke quickly.”
The teenager brought a baby and a child to safety outside before running back to rescue a woman, presumed to be the young children’s mother.
“I could tell the mum was scared,” she recalled.
After bringing the trio to safety, Tenaia returned to Aysher who watched on from the park.
“I don’t really feel anything, I’m just happy that the family is safe and that I was there to help out,” she said.
Tenaia’s noble action went relatively unnoticed, as she had left the house before emergency services arrived on scene.
Two CFA units from Narre Warren and Cranbourne and four Fire Rescue Victoria firefighters were called to the scene at about 10.10am.
The incident was brought under control within five minutes and thankfully no injuries were reported.
Tenaia’s proud mother Michelle Salesulu said she couldn’t believe what had happened when she received a call from her daughter.
“I’m extremely proud. I couldn’t actually believe that she was so fearless to make that split decision. I think she was running on pure instinct to be able to do that,” Ms Salesulu said.
“She doesn’t believe that she needs to be commended on it. She says it’s just instinct but I don’t think she really understands the impact she’s had on this family.”