A heroic father gave his own life to save others from a raging house fire that killed one of his sons and another adult.
Michael Holmes was the reason 10 people escaped the fire inside a holiday home in Tyaak, in central Victoria, last Saturday, his brother told the Herald Sun.
“He single-handedly saved every single person in that house, everyone would have been dead without him, the consequence is it has cost him his own life,” he said.
“He has always been my hero, my brother is a helping, giving person. The fire was an accident, something triggered the fire, we don’t know what. It is a tragedy, you never think it is going to happen to you.”
The 33-year-old and his six-year-old son, Louis, were killed in the blaze, as well as another 34-year-old man.
Tributes have flowed for the heroic dad and his son, who are survived by the family's mum Nicci and children Harvey and Rafael.
A Chuffed funding campaign has been started by their relatives and friends to support the recovery of "the most beautiful family who would help anyone in need”.
The campaign had raised nearly $92,000 by Thursday morning.
"Today's world is truly a better place for those who were fortunate enough to know Mike," the campaign statement says.
"He was devoted to his family and worshipped the ground they walked on."
The father of three will be remembered by his loved ones as a hero who died giving up his own life to save every person that night.
His son, Louis, was described as a cheeky, extremely smart, and talented boy who showed everyone what true love meant and enjoyed every second of his life.
Children fighting for life in ICU
While Nicci recovers from burns in hospital, Harvey and Rafael are fighting for life in the intensive care unit.
"Harvey is a little boy beyond his years, he engages in emotional conversations and is so protective of his Mum," the family’s friends wrote.
"Little Raff is a real-life Dennis the menace! He explores beyond his years and has the most beautiful blue eyes, he is a mini Nicci."
Described as the most caring and happy person, Nicci is said to have a smile that lights up everyone's days.
"She is strong, even though she thinks she is not. Her world was, and still will be her boys,” the fundraising campaign page said.
Thirteen people had been staying at the holiday house about 100km north of Melbourne for the long weekend.
The 34-year-old victim died on Sunday after he was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Two other children were also recovering at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne on Monday.
Arson and explosives squad detectives are investigating the cause and will prepare a report for the coroner, but the fire is not being treated as suspicious.
The building was a "house built up with beautiful memories of family gatherings", the families said in a statement.
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