'Hero' dies shielding partner from fire hours before birth of his son

·2-min read

A 22-year-old Queensland man is being praised as a hero after he shielded his heavily pregnant partner from a devastating caravan fire.

Blake Whell and Tomeka Willis, 20, were inside the caravan in Logan, south of Brisbane, on Monday night when it suddenly went up in flames around 11pm.

The couple suffered serious burns and were rushed to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition, however Mr Whell died at midday on Tuesday, Queensland Police said.

Just hours after he passed, Ms Willis delivered their son via caesarean, Logan House Fire Support Network confirmed on their Facebook page.

Blake Whell and the destroyed caravan after the fire.
Blake Whell and Tomeka Willis, 20, were inside the caravan in Logan on Monday night when it suddenly went up in flames. Source: Logan House Fire Support Network

“The family have asked us to raise funds for the funeral costs after the tragic fire overnight in Logan Central that claimed the life of 22-year-old Blake Whell,” the group wrote.

“Blake was shielding his girlfriend and suffered 95 per cent burns to his body. His family made the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life support.”

Neighbours told the Courier Mail the blaze “went up so fast”.

“It was an inferno and it was ridiculous,” an anonymous witness said.

Dad claims fire could have been started by E-scooter

Mr Whell’s dad made an emotional plea after his son’s tragic death, the publication reported.

He said he fears also losing his severely injured “daughter-in-law”.

“They’re going to do a caesarean on her some time – there’s a good chance that I may lose her as well,” he said.

“My boy – he’s a hero. He threw himself over the top of her to save her and took most of the burns.”

Blake Whell and Tomeka Willis, 20.
Ms Willis gave birth to their son just hours after Mr Whell died. Source: Facebook

Although the cause of the fire is under investigation, Mr Whell’s dad hinted it could have been started by an E-scooter.

“Any of you people out there that’ve got E-Scooters, you be careful with these batteries and these chargers,” he said.

“I’ve just lost my son … Beware of these scooters, they’re dangerous, Please, I beg ya’s [sic]. It’s all I have to say, be careful of these E-Scooters.”

Queensland Police said preliminary investigations indicate the fire is not suspicious.

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