PICS: Durban paramedic risks life to pull dog out of fire

2019-12-18 13:11
Rescue Care paramedic Ian Wessels on Wednesday put life and limb at risk when, after all people were evacuated, he resolved to save one more life, a boerbul trapped in the building. (Photo: Rescue Care Pty Ltd)

Rescue Care paramedic Ian Wessels on Wednesday put life and limb at risk when, after all people were evacuated, he resolved to save one more life, a boerbul trapped in the building. (Photo: Rescue Care Pty Ltd)

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A Durban paramedic has risked his life to save a dog from a burning and collapsing shoe factory in Shetland Road, Wentworth, south of Durban.

Rescue Care paramedic Ian Wessels on Wednesday put life and limb at risk when, after all people were evacuated, he resolved to save one more life, a boerboel trapped in the building.

"The owner came to me and showed me where the puppy was. However, the route he showed us to get to the dog would not have been possible because of the fired. We could not get close to the building."

Not letting a massive blaze get in the way, Wessels together with other services including the police search and rescue teams created an alternative.

"With my colleagues, we chiselled a hole and I saw the dog, a boerboel, quite a big sized dog. She was so traumatised that she started walking toward the fire."

dog rescue

(Photo: Rescue Care Pty Ltd)



Wessels said he decided to act quickly and pull the dog out.

"I went in, quickly pulled her out and got her some water to cool off."

Life is a life

He said that in that moment, all he could think about was saving the dog.

"A lot of frustration went through me. At the end of the day a life is a life and I was focused on saving it."

Wessels said he was also thankful for members of the public who helped and emphasised his passion for his work.

"It makes me feel good, human or animal at the end of the day it is fulfilling to save a life. I wouldn't say another day at work, but it is just something I love."

dog rescue

dog rescue
Rescue Care paramedic Ian Wessels on Wednesday put life and limb at risk when, after all people were evacuated, he resolved to save one more life, a boerboel trapped in the building. (Photo: Rescue Care Pty Ltd)



Fire under control

After catching alight earlier in the day, the factory fire was under control after midday on Wednesday.

One person was rushed to hospital while another two were treated on scene by paramedics.

Rescue Care spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said the building was "well alight" at one point.

"It was extremely hot and firefighters were dousing the flames. Parts of the building collapsed. The area is cordoned off. The road has been closed."

Read more on:    durban  |  fires
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