Firefighter hailed as hero for saving Laudium woman from inferno
Pretoria - Volunteer firefighter Muhammed Dockrat has been hailed as a hero after he rushed into a burning house and carried a seriously injured woman to safety.
The Laudium Disaster Management and Safe-T-Med Africa, PAJ Community Patrollers, Vision Tactical and Tshwane Fire Department were called to the Aquamarine Street residence shortly before 11am on Monday.
Dockrat said the fire was spreading quickly and had burnt the structure of the house severely, and the roof had collapsed.
He said luckily they were able to get the team to enter the home and carry a 52-year-old burn victim to safety.
However, the fire claimed one life. “I am doing fine and glad that we were able to help out. It will take time, but hopefully by the will of God they will be able to cope with what happened, because what the family faced was very tragic.”
He said the survivor was stabilised on the scene by paramedics from Netcare 911 and then taken to a nearby medical facility.
Chairperson of Laudium Disaster Management Ibrahim Dockart said the victim suffered extensive burns to her upper body, back and legs, and was in intensive care.
He said there hadn't been any indication of what the cause of the fire was, but this will form part of an investigation which has not been done yet.
“I saw a message on one of the Laudium groups that the lady who was transported to the hospital was in an intensive care unit and most of the house had been gutted, including the dining room area.”
He said the second elderly victim died while the firefighter tried to pull her out.
Dockart emphasised that although there were theories that it was the roof which collapsed on her that caused her death, it was still unknown because an autopsy had not been done yet.
He said the City of Tshwane sent out a large contingent of people and it took them a while to extinguish the fire. The flames had been doused by midday.
“This is the first firefighting experience where there was a loss of life, so it has been traumatic on the volunteers. It is usually not so big fires we had to put out, but this was a difficult situation,” said Dockart.
He said it was unfortunate for both the family and every team member that fought the fire, and they wished the survivor a speedy recovery.