Monday, April 6, 2015 - 14:40
Teens hailed as heroes in retirement home fire
Had it not been for two young men, residents of the senior citizen’s home that burned out in Wijchen this morning would not have escaped without serious harm. The young men, both 19, sounded the alarm when they noticed fire upstairs a shopping area at Europaplein. A corner apartment was ablaze and the flames seemed like they would soon leap over to other residences. The men called police and fire department and assisted officers in breaking windows to get to the senior citizens, wake them up and get them out of the building. One of the young men , Mike Hemsen from Wijchen actually helped carry a person outside. He had first rang the doorbell, but when no one was coming to the door, he climbed up the roof of the stores below and entered the apartment. “That’s when I saw a man,” the young man told Omroep Gelderland TV. “He said his wife was still inside, so I went in with my lamp but I could not find her. I was just about to leave when she touched me as if to say ‘here I am.” Mike said the lady could not walk and was no longer responsive. “She kept falling to the ground.” With the help of his friend he then dragged the woman outside to safety. Four people, including one of the young heroes required treatment at a hospital in Nijmegen. Mike, the young hero was released shortly after; three senior citizens remain in the hospital for observation. The fire was quickly brought under control. At least six houses had meanwhile been damaged. Seventeen people who live in six apartments were evacuated. Authorities are making inspection rounds to determine whether it’s safe for the residents to return home. Police say that the animals in a pet store below the senior citizens’ apartment were ok. Fire fighters had forced the door to get to the apartments. Animal ambulance personnel later on checked on the pets. Authorities will carry out an investigation into what caused the fire, police point out. Mike and his friend are meanwhile being praised for their actions. “I am happy that they were alert and took quick action to remove the people out of their houses fast,” said Wijchen mayor Hans Verheijen.
Quote met held die afgelopen nacht bewoner uit brandende woning in Wijchen heeft gered zo bij gld.nl pic.twitter.com/2YJtmfe0YW— Motormuis (@Motomuis) April 6, 2015