Police hailed as heroes after break-in to save three trapped in burning flat

Police officers who rescued three people from a burning flat in Worcester outside Cape Town have been hailed as heroes. File photo.
Police officers who rescued three people from a burning flat in Worcester outside Cape Town have been hailed as heroes. File photo.
Image: 123RF/Janniwet Wangkiri

Four police officers broke into a burning flat to save the lives of three people trapped inside, extinguished the fire and returned later with padlocks to secure the property. They have been hailed as heroes.

The blaze started on Sunday night on a stove at River View Flats in the town of Worcester, about 120km from Cape Town.

“The [officers], after braving an overwhelming smoke which came out of the window, broke a safety gate and door padlocks to gain entry to the apartment,” said spokesperson Capt Lindikhaya Mkhontwana.

“Inside the apartment they found and rescued three persons aged six, 12 and 24 who were already inhaling the smoke before the ambulance personnel and fire fighters could arrive.

“When the ambulance arrived, the officers had already extinguished the flames from a stove and had placed the three victims at a safe place." The three were treated by the ambulance staff.

The four officers later purchased padlocks out of their own initiative and returned to ensure the flat could be locked and kept secure from criminals. 

Worcester cluster commander Maj-Gen Nomthetheleli Mene: “We are very proud as the South African Police Service to have members with remarkable contribution in the community by going beyond the call of duty to save lives of the people in their community.  It is only out of patriotism and dedication by these Saps members to put their lives on the line for others to live. “

The four are attached to the Community Service Centre at Worcester police station.

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