National 27.7.2016 10:08 am

Trapped boy, 6, rescued from inferno

Thandiwe Mchunu attempting to put out the inferno with a bucket.

Thandiwe Mchunu attempting to put out the inferno with a bucket.

Polution Control Services workers rushed to the scene and broke windows to gain access to the burning house, before putting out the fire.

A random act of kindness saved a young life in a blaze at Ngwelezana, Zululand Observer reports.

What started as an ordinary day at work turned into a rescue mission when four men fearlessly rescued a six-year-old boy trapped inside a burning house.

While working at Shayamoya Section unblocking sewerage systems in the area, members of the Pollution Control Services (PCS) noticed dark smoke coming from one of the houses at around 2pm.

The men rushed to the scene and broke windows in an attempt to gain access to the house.

“We called to check if anyone was still inside but there was no answer and we couldn’t see anyone,” said Sipho Khumalo.

While waiting for Empangeni Fire and Rescue Department, the PCS gang used water from their truck to put out the flames, which had already engulfed a huge part of the building.

“We didn’t know someone was in the house, and no one seemed to know where the occupants were. We just wanted to save their property, not knowing there was a young boy sleeping inside.”

According to Sipho Khumalo, when they arrived at the scene, a kind neighbour had already started attempts to extinguish the fire using a bucket of water as well.

“I don’t have a pipe, but I used the tap next to the house to fill my bucket. I poured water through a window but it was not enough,” said neighbour, Thandiwe Mchunu.

“While we were desperately trying to put out the fire, we realised a young boy was inside. From there the mission was to save him from the smoke which had filled the whole house,” she said.

Young Mnqobi Mashaba was rescued from the burning house and rushed to Ngwelezana Clinic for medical attention.

The good Samaritans stayed with the lad until he was ready to go home, where he was reunited with his distraught family.

The boy’s father, Sandile Gama, said: “We have found temporary shelter with relatives while we try and regain our lives. Fortunately, Mnqobi only suffered from smoke inhalation and was left with a cough, but we’re sure he will get better soon.”

According to Gama, the blaze gutted their house and destroyed all their belongings, including the boy’s school uniform and books.

The reason why the child was left alone and the source of the fire is still unknown.



Members of the Pollution Control Services helping.


Aftermath of the blaze

– Caxton News Service


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