Judith Lewis-Stride was in Soweto visiting a family friend, as she left, she noticed a fire and drove in to get the info for emergency services.


What Judith saw next truly inspired her. The community had come together to help save the house and prevent the fire from spreading on to the surrounding homes. They worked together to contain the blaze while waiting for the fire department to arrive. Two of the men played an integral role in saving the home.

Judith had been in Soweto visiting the nanny that helped care for her as a little girl. This is what Judith saw while there…

A huge shout of to the neighbours/community of Bhubesi Street in Diepkloof Ext 2, Soweto. Today they did an incredible job rallying together to save the house of a neighbour – they connected hose-pipes, ran them from neighbouring taps, and rallied together with buckets. There were 2 incredibly brave men – who even got onto the roof to fight this fire. If it was not for these efforts this house would have burnt to the ground and likely spread to the 2 neighbouring houses too – they managed to contain the fire to the garage despite 2 gas cylinders and a car engine exploding.

Despite numerous calls, it took over an hour for the first fire engine to arrive. The 2 men on the roof were incredible. The one man left as soon as the firefighters arrived. The other man did not want to be named or photographed but was integral to this success. He was only there because he was helping out another neighbour with some work today. He kept on slipping on the wet roof tiles as he poured buckets of water over the fire. He had gashes on his arms and was absolutely soaking wet when he came down. He must have also inhaled so much of that deep black smoke.

It was incredibly inspiring to see this community in action. We happened upon this while we were driving home from having tea with the lady who was my nanny when I was a little girl. We had gone to meet her grandson. We saw the smoke from the highway and called the emergency services but they couldn’t help without an address. When we saw it was a house on fire we were worried perhaps no one was at home so decided to drive towards the smoke to find an address. We were horrified when we arrived to see how the fire was taking over, and the community told us they had been phoning fire stations all over the area and no engine had arrived yet! We stayed to try and help but I have to admit it was from a distance as I wasn’t that brave.

It is really inspiring to see South Africans work together to help one another. Stories like this make us feel proud of our Ubuntu nature. Thank you for sharing the experience with the rest of South Africa Judith.

Sources: Facebook
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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