Neighbours rescue father and son trapped in burning room

2017-09-07 14:02
Dirco Greyling (left) and Gert Prinsloo were forced to remove the burglar bars in order to help Prinsloo and his father, Danie, out of the burning house. (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

Dirco Greyling (left) and Gert Prinsloo were forced to remove the burglar bars in order to help Prinsloo and his father, Danie, out of the burning house. (Mlungisi Louw, Netwerk24)

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Bloemfontein - A father and his son managed to escape their burning home in Bloemfontein on Saturday night, courtesy the swift action of their neighbours. The house was razed.

They had enough time, however, to salvage a cellphone.

Gert Prinsloo, 30 and his father Danie, 61, were suddenly trapped by flames in a room in their home in Uitsig, Bloemfontein, on Saturday night. Danie's wife, Magda, had died about a month ago, Netwerk24 reported.

Their neighbour, Dirco Greyling and another Samaritan who they don't know, came to their rescue. They helped them break a window and pry loose the burglar bars, so that the son and his dad could escape the burning room.

Danie, who suffers from asthma, had to be helped out of the house after losing consciousness. He is still being treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.

"My dad at first tried to get my mom's cellphone, which has important information on and probably also has big sentimental value for him, from a cupboard. She died last month of natural causes," said Gert.

Gert, who is a response officer at Nissi Armed Response, sustained burns to his ears and back.

"My dad didn't feel well that night and went to bed early. I put him to bed for the first time in my life and went to bed myself a short while later.

"When I got into the bed, there suddenly were just flames. It was my electric blanket which had caught fire."

The fire, which spread fast, broke out at about 23:30. "The house has been razed. I have nothing left. Our cat died in the fire, but the four dogs fortunately are okay."

Gert is infinitely grateful for the help they received.

"If it hadn't been for the neighbours – not only did they give me a place to stay, they also gave me clothes as I'd fled the house in the buff. There hadn't been time to get dressed.

"I've rescued people from fires, but never thought the day would come where I had to rescue my own dad."

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  fires

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