The families of three police officers badly injured in an explosion at a Melbourne flat say they are extremely proud of their loved ones and horrified at what happened.
Sergeant Tony Scully, First Constable Emma Quick, and a female constable known as “Varli” were injured alongside two firefighters and a resident in an explosion at the Middle Park flat on Saturday night.
They had been responding to reports of a man threatening self-harm when there was a blast caused by an exploding gas bottle.
Both constables remain in a serious but stable condition at the Alfred Hospital after undergoing surgery on Monday.
Sgt Scully’s wife Mitzi said she was proud of all her husband had achieved during his 34 years as a police officer.
“It is typical of Tony that he should get injured in this way – helping a person when they needed help,” she said in a statement on Monday.
Sgt Scully, 51, is in a stable condition.
Constable Varli, 32, graduated from the academy last July, while Constable Quick, 28, has only been a police officer since 2011.
Constable Varli’s parents Kathy and Tony said being a police officer was the fulfilment of a 10-year dream.
The families of all three officers issued a joint statement expressing their gratitude to those who had helped.
“We would like to send our thanks to Victoria Police, the hospital staff who have worked so hard to help our loved ones, and those kind and caring people who all helped out at the scene,” they said.
“This has been a deeply distressing experience for all of us.
“We are horrified that this has happened.”
Firefighter Andrew Wood has received praise for his bravery and actions in the aftermath of the explosion.
Mr Wood suffered facial injuries in the blast, but pulled two police from the explosion scene before going back in to save a third officer.
United Firefighters Union president David Hamilton commended Mr Wood and said he was doing his job.
“We’re mandated to protect life and property and Andrew has done a sterling job,” he told AAP.
“I mean it is extraordinary that he has put himself in that situation, but I don’t think there are any firefighters that would have done anything else.
“With Andrew his training kicked in: he didn’t consider himself, he considered his job as a firefighter to help people in need and in particular to help the police members.”
Fellow firefighter Wayne Sheridan was also injured in the explosion after being showered with glass.
Both Mr Wood and Mr Sheridan have been released from hospital and are recovering at home.
The 40-year-old male resident remains in a serious but stable condition at The Alfred Hospital and is under police guard.
Police believe it was a suicide attempt gone wrong and not a trap for emergency services workers.
* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 100 659 467.