To begin with, an account of the quick thinking of one of the citizen first responders, a Kiwi living in Melbourne, and a worthy representative of the NZ part of ANZAC.
"Springvale Commonwealth Bank Fire: From the Horrific to the Heroic: Man Enters Burning Bank".
"Why did you do it?"
"It's the question everyone is asking... and it was the first thing Junior Dean, a father of 12, and the man who caught the Springvale bank attacker, asked him.
'Mr Dean, who charged into the burning Commonwealth Bank building and rushed victims of the blaze to safety, quickly realized that the man police believe is responsible for the blast was huddled among the last five survivors to escape the bank.
'He found him in a lane outside the bank's rear entrance, where the man was frantically trying to send a text message from his phone.
Now that is interesting. A text message to whom? - CM
'One of the victims pointed at the man and said he was responsible for the fire that injured 27 people, two of them critically.
"I could smell petrol on his body when I pulled him out", Mr Dean said. 'I couldn't smell it on the others. I could see he was prepared to run. The staff and customers started to move away from him. I grabbed him by the shoulder and nudged him to the laneway fence."
'Mr Dean grabbed the man's phone (good thinking, that; I bet the police are having fun with it, now - CM) and kept him in a corner until police arrived. It was then that he asked him why he had started the fire.
'He said, "the bank moved me from here to here and I got sick of it", Mr Dean said, "Because the bank gave him the runaround".
Lamest excuse ever, for attempted mass murder. - CM
"I said to him, "If you decide to run, I will catch you, I am much faster than you."
'New Zealand native Mr Dean didn't question the shirtless and grotesquely burnt man any further. "I didn't want to do the police's job", he said.
'In the minutes before that, Mr Dean and two other bystanders had rescued Commonwealth Bank staff and customers stuck inside the Springvale bank that police say was set alight with an accelerant, probably petrol.
"If we had waited for emergency services and police, it may have been too late", he said. "Five minutes is a long time when you're in a dark, smokey area with toxic fumes"....
"When the blaze first erupted, Mr Dean was stepping out of the Springvale post office. He saw severely burnt, screaming people running out from the bank across the road, and didn't hesitate.
'Moments before, a man (a Muslim man - CM) had walked into the busy bank, poured an accelerant and set it on fire, injuring 27 people, including children and the elderly.
'Mr Dean headed straight towards the carnage. "They were all in shock", he said. "We didn't know what had happened - was it a bomb, or what?"
'The 47 year old helped remove a back-pack that had melted onto a man's skin, and attempted to calm other victims, including a woman with a toddler.
'He described chaotic scenes as he and other men hurried to shops, locating to get fire hydrants to use to douse the flames in the bank's front corridor.
'However, they were soon told there were more people [who] were trapped inside, and the bank's front doors had locked, preventing access and an escape route to those trapped by the fire from going in to save them.
'Mr Dean and two of the men acted quickly, finding a back entrance, as tradie Ashley Atkin-Fone and another man stayed to help out at the front of the bank.
What impresses me is this: that a group of random infidel strangers could - faced with the entirely unexpected - could so quickly become an effective, fast-moving team. - CM
'He then went into the burning building with one of the men. "We couldn't see anything, it was just thick smoke," he said. "We were just shouting and just calling out, "Anybody there, anybody there?"
'They came out with three staff members before Mr Dean returned back inside alone. The smoke had left the other man choking for air.
'It was at that point that he stumbled upon the man who allegedly was responsible for the carnage.
"He was pleading to me to give the phone back, but I said, "No".", he said.
Good thinking, mate. - CM
'Mr Dean later gave the phone to the police.
'While the horrific incident unfolded, Mr Dean said his family feared he was inside the bank.
'He didn't arrive back home on Friday until just before midnight.
"But I didn't get to sleep until about 5 am this morning. A lot of things started going through me head", he said."
You did good, mate. Visitors and immigrants like you, sir, are more than welcome in this country. Long live the ANZAC alliance!
And now for a bit more on what Mr Dean and other good blokes had to deal with.
'Eyewitnesses describe terrifying scenes at Springvale Commonwealth Bank Fire".
'Witnesses have described bloody and terrifying scenes after a fire at the Springvale Commonwealth Bank...
"Ernie Gonzalez heard a witness say a man set himself on fire at the entrance of the bank before running inside and squirting gasoline on the carpet. "He's setting the carpet on fire as he's running towards the back of the bank", he said.
'Mr Gonzalez said the bank tellers had to run through the flames to get out of the building.
And that was no doubt exactly as Mr Noor Islam, the fire-setter, had anticipated. - CM
"I could see flames in the entrance, and I could see people running out covered in charcoal - they were black", he said.
'Adam Coulshed, a local construction worker, who was across the road from the bank, heard a loud bang - and then plumes of black smoke started pouring out fo the bank.
"It was just black, and there were people with blood (coming out of the bank)", he said. "I thought it was a car accident".
'He and a co-worker helped put out the fire with a shop-keeper at a neighbouring Optus store.
'Worker Ashley Atkin-Fone was among the first on the scene, and he searched through the smoke to try to find victims inside the bank. "I got the fire out, took four steps inside, and I was shouting and shouting but couldn't hear anyone" he said.
'He said one of the victims was staggering down Springvale Road with blood dripping from his hands. "His face was terrible" he said, "He was screaming at the top of his voice. I've never heard anything like it. All I could see was this black smoke, it was just an absolute mess at the front of the shop", he said...".
Then there's another report that mentions a claim that Mr Noor Islam, the fire-setter, had visited more than one bank around Melbourne. If he did indeed do this, then one must wonder whether, whilst ostensibly begging for money, he was in fact scoping out potential targets; looking at layouts and customer density.
'An Asylum Seeker Accused of Causing an Explosion at a Melbourne Bank Reportedly Went to Numerous Banks Asking for Money".
Or so says his former room-mate. This is, of course, checkable. All the police have to do is run Mr Islam's mug shot past the staff of assorted banks in Springvale and surrounding suburbs, and ask whether a man answering that description had in fact turned up at any point in the past few months, demanding money. - CM
'The man accused of causing an explosion at a Melbourne bank by setting himself alight reportedly visited numerous banks as his financial situation worsened...
'The 21 year old suspect, named in media reports as Nur (or Noor) Islam, an asylum seeker from Myanmar, had recently become homeless (it might be interesting to discover exactly why; and also to ask where, if he was homeless and destitute, he got the money to buy the quite large quantity of petrol, or whatever else it was, that he used to create the fire in the bank - CM) and was staying with friends.
One hopes the cops are questioning all those friends; separately, and not allowing those already questioned any contact with those yet to be questioned, until all have been grilled. - CM
'A room-mate, Joseph, told the Herald-Sun the man had tried to ask for money at banks numerous times.
'It's reported the man's rage on Friday was sparked over a welfare payment.
Ah yes, Muslims are so ready to fly into a rage. - CM
'A member of Myanmar's Rohingya community in Melbourne, Habib Habib, told reporters the man had been struggling to financially help his family back home...
'Eyewitnesses have been relaying their experiences, with one man telling the "Age" the bank looked like a 'war-zone'.
Perhaps it was... - CM
"It was crazy", Mitch Jackson told the newspaper. "You see people running around with soot and burns on their face and hands, screaming in the streets."
'A mother who was in the bank with her three children said she saw the burning man and watched his clothes disintegrate from the flames. "All his clothes just dripped off, and his skin, it just fell piece by piece on the carpet", Phalla Neary Khmer told the Herald-Sun.
'A tradesman, who is being hailed a hero after rushing to the scene and getting a fire extinguisher, said he was in shock when he saw injured people around him. "I look up , and I see this poor lad, you know, burns in the face, his hands were bleeding, and his skin was ripped off and everything else," Ashley Atkin-Fone told the Nine Network's "Today" show, on Sunday."
But, of course, the 'Age' can't resist the temptation to give us a long article making sure we know all about the plight of those poor 'Rohingya' Muslims who are suffering so much at the hands of the evil Buddhist supremacists. (Not sure whether the 'Age' has ever done a feature piece about the Assyrian Christians and the more than a millennium of oppression, discrimination, exploitation and periodic episodes of mass murder that they have endured at Muslim hands, that has reduced them to a rapidly-disappearing remnant in their own ancestral homeland. Nor a feature piece about the Copts of Egypt, or the Hindus and Christians of Pakistan, or the Hindus, Buddhists and Christians of steadily-ever-more-Islamic Bangladesh.) Here's the link, if you're inclined to see what kind of excuse-making is going to be trotted out when the trial of Noor Islam - just this latest allegedly mentally disturbed Muslim to attempt a mass-killing within the west - eventually gets under way.
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