FIREFIGHTERS from eThekwini Fire and Emergency Services douse the flames in the top storey flat on Essendene Road in Sydenham. Picture: Leon Lestrade / ANA
Durban - Two Durban residents rushed to help their neighbours escape flames when a fire broke out at a block of flats in Sydenham on Friday morning.

eThekwini Fire and Emergency Services rushed to the scene as the flames were licking through the windows of the top floor flat.

Fatima Karim, 26, who had escaped from the burning flat with her mother and another older woman, said she was having her morning coffee when the fire broke out.

When the Independent on Saturday arrived smoke was billowing out of the building as firefighters got the blaze under control. Karim was sitting on a chair at the entrance to the building and appeared to be in a state of shock.

“I was just drinking my coffee when I heard my mom screaming. I ran through to the kitchen and saw the flames. I ran to the men next door, as there are no men in our home. They came across and they started throwing water on the flames, but it was spreading so quickly,” said Karim.

Felix Dlamini Road was closed for about an hour while shocked residents, who had been evacuated from the building, as well as a large crowd of onlookers, lined the pavements opposite the burning building.

HAVING rescued the residents of the burning flat, Sanaullah Kazi and Abdullah Hanif describe the speed of the flames. Picture: Leon Lestrade / ANA

The two heroes who had saved the three women from the burning flat and raised the alarm to evacuate the building were standing quietly on one side of the road.

Abdullah Hanif and Sanaullah Kazi said a young woman arrived at their home, saying a fire had broken out.

Hanif said they rushed to the burning flat. “We managed to get the two old ladies out of the flat while the young woman called the fire services."

KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Services spokesperson, Rob McKenzie, confirmed that no one had been injured.

Independent On Saturday