In a hair-raising video of the Betty’s Bay fire, Justin Sullivan a documentary photographer capturing firefighters in action, became the hero of this story
Filming for an upcoming documentary about the Cape Fires, Justin Sullivan came across an elderly couple engulfed in smoke, panicked and stuck on the roadside. He did what any hero would do, he saved them.
On the 11th of January, while filming for ‘Walking with Fire: A Wildfire Documentary’, Justin saved two lives. He was driving through an area choked by smoke and only just noticed a movement. His instinct told him to stop and he saw two people standing terrified.
The elderly couple had tried to escape but their car caught on fire, leaving them stranded. If Justin had not been driving past at just the right time, we shudder to think how differently this story could have ended.
“There were 3 large runaway fires in the Overberg yesterday afternoon as gusting winds close to 100kph were pounding the coastline. I arrived in Bettys Bay shortly before 2 pm as the fire barrelled down into the Eastern part of the town.
I’m so grateful for being in the right place at the right time to assist people in need, particularly an elderly couple whose car had caught on fire as they were trying to escape. Our thoughts are with all those affected by these runaway fires and our heartfelt praise to everyone who helped throughout the afternoon and into the evening – Firefighters and their support teams, Volunteers, Officials and the surrounding communities all came to the aid of those in need!”
While Justin is used to providing us with harrowing images of the fires and the incredible men and women that help to fight them. He is used to praising the heroes that battle these blazes, we know honouring him as the hero of this story might feel out of place to him. BUT we know a hero when we see one and we think you will agree.
While the Betty’s Bay fires may be contained, there are a number of fires still out of control. Along with the harrowing video, Justin has asked that people please donate in any way they can. There is an urgent need for donations and anyone able to can find the information needed to make a donation below.
*URGENT* Donations can be dropped off directly at Crassula Hall in Betty’s Bay, and the Hermanus Community Policing Forum will accept donations on a 24-hour basis at the Hermanus Fire and Rescue and Disaster Management offices in 14 Mussel Road, Hermanus Industrial Area.
Donations may also be made to the Overstrand Municipality Executive Mayor’s Special Fund to assist the Betty’s Bay, Hangklip, Pringle Bay and Rooiels areas.
ACCOUNT HOLDER: Overstrand Municipality
ACCOUNT TYPE: Current Account
BANK: ABSA Bank
BRANCH CODE: 334-812
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 3220 000 035
PAYMENT REFERENCE: Mayoral Fund-B/Bay Fire followed by either the words (**reward**) or (**support**).
Watch the hair-raising video of the rescue as well as firefighters doing everything possible to contain the blaze below.