Hero dad saves wife, child from fire

2011-05-16 10:06

Johannesburg - A man first put out the flames on his own body, then saved his pregnant wife and their 3-year-old daughter from their burning home, as neighbours heard his terrifying screams.

Mduzuzi Dlamini, 30, performed these heroic deeds after doing a firefighting course just two weeks ago.

Doctors have kept him in an induced coma after he sustained burn wounds to 40% of his body.

An electrical plug is believed to have caused the fire in his home in Moffat Street, Vanderbijlpark early on Sunday morning.

The flames spread quickly through the house.

Body on fire

According to family friend, Klaas Smit, 24, Dlamini was asleep on the bed next to the power plug and woke with a fright when his body caught alight.

"Two weeks ago Mdu went on a firefighting course, which I believe saved his life.”

Dlamini ran to the bathroom. His wife Tracy said she heard how he opened taps.

"She couldn’t tell me exactly whether he jumped in the bath or threw water on himself to put out the flames,” said Smit.

Then he took his wife to safety before going to his daughter, Chloe’s, bedroom.

A member of the emergency services said Chloe’s bedroom was also ablaze, and Dlamini sustained further burn wounds while trying to save her.

Neighbours said they heard a man’s terrifying screams early in the morning and went to investigate.

They found the badly injured Dlamini and his family in the street.

Induced coma

Paramedics from Netcare 911 and Sedibeng EMS, as well as members of the Emfuleni fire department, were called to the scene.

"We treated the man in one of his neighbours’ houses. He was awake and calm but in a lot of pain," said a paramedic.

Dlamini was airlifted by helicopter to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

"At the hospital, a doctor put him into an induced coma. I believe he will survive," the paramedic added.

Dlamini's wife and daughter were treated for smoke inhalation and sustained no injuries.

Half of Dlamini’s house, which he had apparently bought the previous day, was destroyed by the fire.

There was nothing left of the couple’s bedroom, their bathroom or their daughter’s bedroom.

On Sunday, a burnt-out geyser lay on the spot where their bed had previously been.

Smit said Dlamini worked for Sasol and recently moved from Durban to the Vaal Triangle with his family.

Chris Combrink, regional commander of the Emfuleni fire department, said they were investigating the cause of the fire.

  • saabnut - 2011-05-16 10:16

    My very best wishes to him and his family- I hope he makes a complete and speedy recovery, and then they should make him president- a real hero who looks out for others.

      Kgwadi - 2011-05-16 10:23

      President? Make me one.

      michaelx - 2011-05-16 11:43


      Thangy - 2011-05-16 11:53

      @saabnut Somehow, someway you ppl find the oddest way to relate stories that have absolutely nothing to do with electioneering to the election, smh...

      Stefan - 2011-05-16 12:24

      @Thangy remove that chip off your shoulder and grow a pair would you?!

      saabnut - 2011-05-16 13:11

      @ Thangy: There is a hyperlink on the right of the post that says "Report comment"...

      Yaseen - 2011-05-17 01:21

      Important to do a firemans crash couse, hmmm u see

  • Caz - 2011-05-16 10:22


  • allnet - 2011-05-16 10:23

    Hope in the best for you all.

  • Paralegal - 2011-05-16 10:23

    Well done Sir! I too wish you a speedy recovery. Thank you for showing the rest of us that we still have heroes in this day and age.

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-05-16 10:24

    All the best for your recovery dude. you deserve it.

  • Spoofed - 2011-05-16 10:25

    WELL DONE!!! i hope he gets a speedy recovery and gets awarded a medal for his bravery.. Heck i will even buy him a bells!

  • Sharon - 2011-05-16 10:28

    Thoughts and Prayers of a complete recovery for this brave hero. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Afrobella - 2011-05-16 10:29

    What a brave man! I hope for a speedy recovery for Mr Dlamini.

  • Audacious - 2011-05-16 10:30

    Well done. May the Almighty grant you a speedy recovery

  • Susannomore - 2011-05-16 10:33

    He is a hero. The next 3 weeks will tell if he will make it and I pray he does. We need more of these sensible, hero-types. How sad that he had only just bought the house.

  • Snoobab - 2011-05-16 10:34

    Get that man a Bells

      sbouttell - 2011-05-16 12:31

      Er - give that man some morphine...

  • ruezy - 2011-05-16 10:39

    A man indeed...

  • Papsak - 2011-05-16 10:41

    Well done Sibal'khulu. Uphole nkunzi - that's what I call bravery.

  • ET - 2011-05-16 10:50

    Wow - what a brave man. Hope he recovers soon.

  • - 2011-05-16 10:58

    It is so heartwarming to hear stories like this. All the best to Mduzuzi. Your wife and daughter must be evry proud of you. Truly there is a lot of love in this household.

  • ebdg3000 - 2011-05-16 11:03

    And he'll probably have a case against whoever sold the house - or the people that were supposed to conduct the electrical inspection.

  • The_Stud - 2011-05-16 11:07

    I salute you sir!

  • Ly - 2011-05-16 11:10

    Amazing story. Hope he makes a full recovery and that he had insurance. Wish there was something we could do to help this family; at least they still have each other :)

  • WhiteAfrican - 2011-05-16 11:10

    Nice to see that there can be happy endings too.

  • Rover_ZA - 2011-05-16 11:34

    A real hero! All the best for a speedy recovery!

  • tkotze - 2011-05-16 11:35

    Condolences to the family, and wishes for a speedy and successful recovery. Dlamini’s, may all us dads be capable of following your footsteps when it may be required of us. You get the title of hero and role model for South Africans and the world alike imho.

      Papsak - 2011-05-16 12:58

      @tkotze, does the story say anyone died in this incident? Do you know the meaning of condolences? Ja..neh...

      Duane277 - 2011-05-16 15:34

      @Papbrein: "Condolence-Sympathy with a person who has experienced pain, grief, or misfortune" i.e. you do not have to die to receive someone's condolences, a serious misfortune will do. I think 40% burns and half your house going up in smoke counts. Anyway to the point, this great uplifting story will be so much better if he ends up recovering which I'm sure everyone is hoping & praying for, get well!

  • Queteepie - 2011-05-16 11:37

    Definatley a hero in any persons eyes - take care and get better soon!!!

  • SeekingGod - 2011-05-16 11:39

    God bless you for your selfless act. You are what true heroes are made of. I Pray you have a full recovery.

  • thabisa.mbaba - 2011-05-16 11:43

    Brave men yes....As for 'the firefighting course saved his life', hay I think he should get a refund if he paid for it.He cud have saved himself more pain by covering himself in a wet blanket while continuing to save his wife and daughter in order not to sustain any more injuries...And thats my two cent's worth

      Totman - 2011-05-16 12:00

      ...and you made your assumptions on what you red? Do you know a wet blanket help, but cant prevent you from get some burns. Who said I did not do it? Do you know more than the report reveals? What a nice story to start the week with. Well done. I hope you recover soon Mr. Dlamini.

      Totman - 2011-05-16 12:01

      Sorry. Mend "he" did not do it.

      ivory - 2011-05-16 15:07

      THABISA.MBABA If my house is ablaze and my family are in it, I will risk whatever I can to get them out as soon as possible. I won't be looking for a blanket and run it under the tap while they're close to death tsk!!

      AJ - 2011-05-17 14:04

      2 cents worth? I fear it was a lot less than that...

  • carla123 - 2011-05-16 11:45

    what a touching story he is a real brave man!!!hope you get well very soon,you are a real inspiration,hope that you recover very soon so that you can share your hero abilities!!!!

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-05-16 11:55

    A true blooded hero! God speed to him and his family....

  • Jacques Jones - 2011-05-16 11:58

    wow.....i have the utmost respect for this MAN!! extreme pain and he still manages to put his family first.

  • ESTIE - 2011-05-16 12:00

    Good work neighbour, hope you get well soon to be with your family.

  • Stacey.S - 2011-05-16 12:18

    What a brave man, God will surely bless you in many ways for being so brave and saving your family. wish you a speedy recovery, and anyone should be proud of you.. God bless

  • flamewulf - 2011-05-16 12:21

    Wow! Stories like this give me great hope.

  • DebbyLou - 2011-05-16 12:22

    You are indeed a very brave man and a true hero! My prayers for you for a speedy recovery!

  • Spokie - 2011-05-16 12:46

    Yes you get bad electrical contractors that is not doing the job properly and then sign off on the job, which ilegal - who is the contractor that signed that house off - trouble for you. Best off luck to the family.

  • Susannomore - 2011-05-16 12:54

    I had a thought when reading this article. I thought "Oh dear, I wonder if I know him." Then i checked myself. Who cares if I know him. Anyone who is hurt to this degree, or killed deserves my thought whether I know them or not.

  • Compassion - 2011-05-16 12:58

    A true hero. Get well soon superman. You are a great inspiration to your children. I also wish Mrs Dlamini all the best with her pregnancy. Can News24 PLEASE keep us updated on Mr Dlamini and his family. We need more good news amongst all the sad and terrible news reports.

  • Almaki - 2011-05-16 13:09

    Fantastic to see a father and husband doing something like this to save his family!

  • Makgoana - 2011-05-16 13:24

    well done bro, get your health back

  • Chris - 2011-05-16 14:11

    Sir, you are someone special and your self sacrifice shows that you are a man of love. I along with so many people wish you a speedy recovery. your family and friends are no doubt grateful and proud of you. I trust that you will be richly rewarded in every way.

  • Krs - 2011-05-16 18:08

    We r proud of u dad! Hope u get well...

  • shudu8 - 2011-05-16 22:24

    real life hero, wishing him a speedy recovery. hope Chris Combrink and the team do a good job in investigating...

  • Engela - 2011-05-17 05:02

    That's wonderful news, Praise the Lord!!

  • Ou Van - 2011-06-02 15:27

    My hat's off to the guy. Real lump in throat hero stuff. I wish him and his family a speedy recovery.

  • thickness - 2011-06-02 15:42

    Witchcraft? a recently bought house burning down like this? almost killing its owners? THANK God they live!

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