Brave Neighbour
Photo Credit: Supplied

When a fire broke out in Johannesburg’s Craighall suburb, Koshiek Karan responded to the call of the community and helped put out the fire to protect his neighbours.


Craighall, South Africa (11 August, 2023) — Koshiek Karan is not a firefighter. But, when flames threatened his community in Joburg’s Craighall suburb, his inner hero shone through. The brave neighbour was willing to go the extra mile for his neighbourhood’s safety, risking his own in the matter!

Two weeks ago, a fire had broken out in a multi-storey warehouse positioned adjacent to people’s homes. Koshiek, who lives in the neighbourhood, had returned home from the movies and was spending the Friday evening in when he heard a nearby window break and knew there was trouble.

“Within minutes there were loud explosions, trees set alight and a roof collapsing on itself,” Koshiek recalls to Good Things Guy.

Leaping to action, Koshiek’s first instinct was to get pets and children to safety, followed by other neighbours.

“The strategy was to get as many people as far away from the fire as possible,” he explains.

He called for professional backup from the City of Joburg’s Emergency Management Services who were soon hot on the case.

However, large trees had started to catch fire; threatening the nearest homes. At that moment, Koshiek recalls that he had to act decisively.

Instead of looking on, he joined forces with the firefighters as a brave neighbour so that the flames could be contained faster.

“I grabbed a fire extinguisher, unrolled the building fire hose & got to work. We managed to contain the fire long enough for first responders to arrive & continued through the night to help douse the flames in various parts of the building.”

It took around 3-4 hours for the fire to be contained, but Koshiek and the firefighters were commited to the cause.

“Think of it like a braai from hell,” Koshiek laughs.

His efforts have earned him the reputation of a neighbourhood hero, but for him, the EMS workers are the real deal.

“Our emergency workers are the real heroes. They’re often stretched incredibly thin, severely underpaid and simply don’t have access to the best equipment & critical resources. Their bravery, courage & heroic efforts are recognized more than rewarded. I really hope we can collectively raise enough awareness on their struggles & brave sacrifices to drive change,” he shares.

Of his brave and positive mindset, Koshiek shares a spark we can all take with us into our own lives:

“Every day we’re putting out our own fires whether it’s personal or at work, but collectively we can fix anything together. There’s a powerful metaphor in that.”—Koshiek Karan, brave neighbour.

Sources: GTG Interview; Koshiek Karan
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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