'I didn’t think, I just moved' - firefighter who saved partner

2017-08-04 12:09
The City of Cape Town firefighter Lorenzo Johannes. (Supplied)

The City of Cape Town firefighter Lorenzo Johannes. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - The firefighter who dragged his partner from a burning house after its roof collapsed says good training made him a hero.

"In that moment I didn't really fear anything. I was just focused on doing what needs to be done," Lorenzo Johannes said.

"I didn't think, I just moved. Months of good training kicked in. I just went through the motions to make sure my partner survives."

The City of Cape Town recently awarded Johannes, 34, a commendation badge for outstanding work. He had been working as a firefighter for the city for four years.

Johannes and his partner Marius van Wyk responded to a fire in Misty Cliffs, near Simon's Town, in April.

Full recovery

They arrived at 23:00 and went into the house while their colleagues battled the fire from outside. The pair cut a hole into the roof to make it easier to extinguish the blaze.

"We didn't expect the roof to collapse. I was standing in the corridor and heard cracking before seeing Van Wyk caught beneath the rubble of the section of the roof that collapsed.

"I immediately went to him and dragged him out. I took off his headgear to give him some air."

Van Wyk has been a firefighter for the City of Cape Town for 10 years. He said he had not experienced anything similar before.

"You have to trust your partner with your life. Without trust we cannot do our jobs," Van Wyk said.

Van Wyk suffered soft tissue damaged to his neck but made a full recovery. During Friday's ceremony, mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, thanked Lorenzo and many others for keeping Capetonians safe.

"There are so many acts of bravery and selflessness that happen on a daily basis within the ranks, and it is testament to the calibre of person in the uniform, but also others who are behind the scenes working on the logistics, without which this directorate would not function," he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires  |  good news

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