Boy rescues woman from burning house

Jeandré, a 15-year old boy from Elspark congregation in Germiston, Gauteng Province, in South Africa has been declared a local hero. He ran into a burning house and rescued a woman in her forties out of the burning kitchen just before the ceiling collapsed.

Jeandré is a young brother in faith. He was confirmed this year. His mother, Vanessa Potgieter, describes him as humble, caring, and selfless. He has a passion: he loves to help other people. This has always been the case, his grandfather Corrie says. “Already from a very young age he has always had the urge to help.”

Jeandré’s grandfather, Deacon Corrie Potgieter, and his uncle, Cornél, are members of the Elspark Community Policing Forum. When they received the emergency call on 16 May, the three raced to the burning house. When they arrived a lady came running toward them from the house, shouting that the resident was still inside.

I did not want the woman to die

While his grandfather and uncle tried to break through the gate, Jeandré scaled the two-metre high wall. It was now or never, Jeandré realized, and ran to the house. “I did not want the woman to die,” he said later. “I first tried to go through the front door, but the flames were blazing, and it was too hot for me to enter.” He ran around to the back of the house, where he noticed the open kitchen door. He could see the owner of the house, a woman in her forties, standing in her kitchen. “There were flames around her, so I ran in and just dragged her out.” The fire spread quickly through the house, with not much remaining apart from a few walls and a few scorched onions. Both were taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. Jeandré was discharged on the same day.

Putting the needs of others first

Jeandré’s mother is very grateful to God that everything worked out as it did. She said that when they received the call, she was not sure if she should scold her son for not thinking of his own life or thank him. “In the end, I can only applaud his act, as that is the way he was taught. Never ever put your own needs first. Always think of others and what they need.”

When Jeandré was discharged from hospital, he and his uncle went around that same night to ask residents to donate clothes, as the family had lost everything.

Original-Article on NAC Eastafrica

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Rivonia Naidu-Hoffmeester, Oliver Rütten
Africa, Social commitment, People/Personalities