Cops who saved children from fire say motherly instincts took over

2015-10-13 12:00
Warrant Officer Shamilla Mahabeer and Sergeant Mariaan Warmenhoven.

Warrant Officer Shamilla Mahabeer and Sergeant Mariaan Warmenhoven. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Two police officers, who have been hailed as heroes after saving four children from a smoke-filled house in Ladysmith last week, say their motherly instincts took over when they realised there were children in the building.

Warrant Officer Shamila Maharaj and Sergeant Mariaan Warmenhoven, attached to the region’s crime intelligence unit, had been driving in Ladysmith when they noticed a property had caught fire.

Warmenhoven said: “We saw the fire which was spreading really fast to the neighbouring houses. When we got close we heard a woman screaming for help, and when we went inside the house there were four children sitting in the sitting room screaming as well.

“We managed to save the children though at first we had a difficult time getting them to trust us because they were shaken and scared.”

Mahabeer said: “The mother of the children kept on thanking us repeatedly. We are mothers as well. I guess our motherly instincts took over. I am just glad nothing happened to them.”

Warmenhoven’s husband, Sergeant Dave Warmenhoven, rushed to the scene to help and managed to extinguish the fire before the fire department arrived.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said the officers took the children, aged between 3 and 8, out of harm's way before contacting the fire department, News24 reported on Monday.

“The outbuilding of the vacant premises, some washing and the yard of the neighbouring house suffered fire damage.

“No one was injured. Without the quick intervention by the police members, the outcome may have been very different,” Zwane said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fires  |  good news

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