Good Samaritans pull man from burning car

The gutted vehicle on Beach Road.

Two homeless men, a security guard and a resident saved a man’s life when they rescued him from a burning vehicle on Beach Road, Three Anchor Bay, in the early hours of Monday morning.

Andrew Newall, the building manager at Chartleigh House in Beach Road, said he was awakened by the sound of a vehicle crashing at about 4am on Monday January 9.

“I looked out of the window and saw a car upside down in the middle of Beach Road. I realised that it was alight and I immediately called our security guard, Maxwell Mhlawuli, to grab a fire extinguisher and run to the car. One of the tenants in our block, Danielle Harris also saw what had happened and did the same.”

He said by this time, the car was burning fiercely, with the driver trapped inside.

Mr Mhlawuli and Ms Harris, however, managed to quell the fire briefly.

When he was alerted to the fire, said Mr Mhlawuli, “I ran to get the fire extinguisher. The flames were big, and the man was stuck inside the car.”

He said two homeless men who sleep outside the building tried to help him flip the car back on to its wheels, but it had been too heavy and was still burning.

“I then proceeded to get the man out of the car.

“I managed to get him out the window, with the help of the two guys, and pulled him far from where the vehicle, which later started burning again.”

He said the man suffered severe burns to his lower body, and his clothes had been burnt; by the time they got him out of the vehicle.

Mr Mhlawuli said he hadn’t
suffered any injuries, apart from minor smoke inhalation, and had not sought medical assistance.

Mr Newall said two women had helped to comfort the man after he had been removed from the car.

While Mr Newall wants to thank everyone who saved the man’s life, he was unable to get everyone’s names, as, he explains, “it was in the heat of the moment.” It is unknown which hospital the man was taken to, and by the time this edition went to print, neither Sea Point police nor emergency services had responded to Atlantic Sun’s queries.

When the Atlantic Sun called the police, the communications officer, Captain Elizabeth Monroe, had no knowledge of the incident. While Mr Mhlawuli said the Sea Point City Improvement District was also on the scene, an officer on duty at the CID office told the Atlantic Sun that they, too, had no record of the incident and that Beach Road was not under their jurisdiction.

Mr Newall said the burnt car remained in the road hours after the incident.