HÀ NỘI — An air-conditioning fitter is being hailed a hero after proving to be super cool under pressure by pulling a child to safety from a burning building.
Trung Văn Nam, 34, leapt into action after seeing flames quickly engulf the property in Hà Nội’s Hoàng Mai District on Wednesday.
“When I saw the fire it was my instinct to try to help,” he said.
“I just wanted to do my best to help people. I wasn’t thinking what I would do when I got up on that roof. I just knew if I could do something, I’d try my best to do it. There was no way I would just stand and watch.”
At first Nam tried to extinguish the blaze from the ground floor, but with flames taking over the whole house, and black smoke billowing into the air, he realised he was fighting a losing battle.
Instead he climbed onto a neighbouring property and tried to smash his way into the first floor window, knowing a child was inside.
He added: “When I reached the roof I saw someone in the house. She screamed ‘Please help me!’ I didn’t know what to do.
“There was an iron-framed window and I didn’t know what to do. So I kicked it hard, several times, until it broke.
“There was so much smoke and I couldn’t see anything inside. I shoved my hand in, and luckily the child was there. I tried to pick her up but couldn’t, so I just tried my best to pull her out of the window.
“When she got outside she said, “My little brother is still inside, please help him!” So I said to her “OK, sit here, wait for me” and planned to get into the house. But the fire was too big. If it had been smaller I’d have run in. But it was too big.”
Unbeknown to both Nam and the child, her brother had managed to escape the house.
Now he is being hailed a hero, and is in line to receive an award for his selfless actions. — VNS