Man ignites petrol on ground at servo

How three ordinary men saved countless lives at servo

THREE men who just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time on Thursday night averted what could have become the biggest disaster in Rockhampton's history.

The men had no choice but to take matters into their own hands when they saw a man pouring petrol from two bowsers and setting them alight.

"He was saying 'I'm going to kill myself, I'm going to kill myself'," said one man who didn't want to be identified.

"But my first thought was that I'm not going to die… it was self-preservation when I grabbed him into a wrist lock and pulled him away."

But the man just repeated that he was going to kill himself.

"I yelled out to Matt (Hull) and he came over and put his other arm in a wrist lock, but he still wouldn't go down and Matt is a big solid bloke," the witness said.

Matthew Hull, 19 returned to the Musgrave St service station where he helped to restrain the man who attempted to blow it up the previous night Photo Christine McKee / The Morning Bulletin
Matthew Hull, 19 returned to the Musgrave St service station where he helped to restrain the man who attempted to blow it up the previous night Photo Christine McKee / The Morning Bulletin Christine Mckee

"I can only think he was on ice and having a psychotic episode… the only way we got him down is when my son came over and lifted his legs off the ground."

At only 19 years old, Matt Hull is struggling to comprehend what happened.

"We just wanted to put the fire out, we weren't trying to hurt him," he said.

"It was like something you see on a movie… I drove into the servo and was about 10 metres away from the bowser when it went up in flames.

"I thought the whole place was going to explode.

"This guy wasn't stopping.

"I yelled at him to put it down but he refused and that's when I knew he was trying to blow the place up."

The three men only just managed to restrain the man until police and the fire brigade arrived.

"He had three guys on him and he was overpowering us… I don't know how much longer we could have held on for," Matt said.