Burning house: woman saved by asthmatic boy


A 15-year-old Germiston boy gave an account of how he climbed over a two-metre high gate to rescue a woman who was trapped in a burning house over the weekend.

JeandrePotgieter, who suffers from asthma, told Netwerk24 he still can’t imagine how he managed to climb over the gate and ran into the burning house.


May 19 th, 2015

His grandfather, Corrie Potgieter, believes adrenalin took over.

Corrie Potgieter and Jeandre’s uncle, Cornel, are members of the Elspark Community Policing Forum. Upon hearing the emergency call on Saturday afternoon, they immediately rushed to the scene.

While his grandfather and uncle were still trying to break through the gate, Jeandre climbed over it and entered the burning house.

He found a widow in her 40s, standing in her kitchen, looking confused with her face covered with soot. Despite his respiratory condition, Jeandre managed to lead her outside to safety.

A neighbour said the woman had screamed that her house was on fire and then gone back to try and rescue her three dogs, who all survived.

Her elderly father-in-law and her son, whom she lives with, were not at home at the time. The fire quickly spread through the house and consumed almost everything but the walls.

Jeandre said the flames were approaching the kitchen when he went inside and took the woman out. They were both taken to the hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation. They were discharged the same day.

Related case

An almost similar case happened last year when an 8-year-old boy managed, in his final moments, to rescue six people from a burning mobile home in upstate New York. Tyler died after he saved six people, including his disabled grandfatherwhom he considered as best friend.  His body was found lying next to his grandfather, the last perosn to be rescued. It appeared that Tyler was trying to lift his grandfather from the bed when he was overcome by the smoke and fire. His mother said: "I'm just so grateful that he went with people that he loved. He didn't go alone.”


  • Nov 26

    Youngest Microsoft graduate

    The youngest Microsoft graduate made headline news in British newspapers. Ayan Qureshi (5) poses next to his computer