What would happen if you were going about your day and realized a building was on fire? What would you do if someone needed help? This is the exact scenario that occurred in Denia, Spain. A man named Gorgui Sow chose to set aside his own safety to save the life of a complete stranger.
A Not So Normal Day
According to authorities, a man in a wheelchair lives on the second floor of an apartment building when a fire broke out. At the time, Gorgui was walking down the street going about his day and heard someone screaming. He actually heard the screams before he saw the fire and walked in the direction of the cries for help to investigate. This is when Gorgui noticed that the apartment was on fire and decided to immediately take action.
Clouds of Black Smoke
What’s interesting is that a crowd had already formed. The crowd was watching as clouds of black smoke begin to pour through the windows of the building. Someone in the crowd told Gorgui that a man was still inside and unable to get out because he was in a wheelchair.
At just 20 years of age, Gorgui decided to do what was necessary to save the man’s life. This required him to put his personal belongings down and find a way to get to the second floor. After quickly assessing the situation, Gorgui chose to scale the balcony to get into the apartment where the resident was trapped.
Gorgui gave little thought to his own safety. The apartment was already filled with smoke, which had started to pour out into the streets. After reaching the second floor, Gorgui gathered the strength needed to lift the man onto his shoulders and carried him out to safety. While this was happening, a neighbor provided a ladder that was set up against the building. This enabled Gorgui to climb down and out of the building.
Leaving the Scene
Upon the arrival of emergency officials, Gorgui started to panic. Why? Because he sells goods on the street and was afraid that the items he had would be confiscated by officials.
As the father of a seven-month-old daughter, he didn’t want to lose his goods because he needed to earn money. He also has a girlfriend that he was providing for and knew that having his goods confiscated meant the three of them would not be able to eat the next day. As a result, he picked up his belongings and decided to leave the scene. But before doing so, he made sure that Alex was safe.
Alex Webster, the man trapped in the burning apartment, was 39 years old and expressed his gratitude to Gorgui for saving his life. When speaking to authorities, Alex said that he didn’t think he would have survived had it not been for Gorgui who bravely entered the burning building to rescue him. Even the neighbors who saw what happened agreed that Alex probably would not have made it without the heroic act of Gorgui.
Recognizing a Hero
In subsequent days, the story of what happened started to spread throughout the country. Many people spoke about how an illegal immigrant risked his own life to save a stranger’s life. This story was a topic of conversation on social media and was even picked up by major news networks. Part of the reason it gained momentum is because the neighbors continued to speak about Gorgui as a hero.
Gorgui later found out that Alex was in good shape after he was treated for smoke inhalation and burns. He didn’t really see himself as a hero and simply wanted to make sure Alex was doing well. The best part of the story is that the rescuer was acknowledged by local authorities as a hero. As a reward for his bravery and kindness, they recommended that he receive residency.
Although local officials were not able to grant Gorgui residency, they urged government officials to do so. If granted, it would enable him to get a job instead of selling goods on the streets. It would also mean a brighter future for his daughter.