Brave teenager saves family from house fire

A ROUTINE visit to her birth mother’s house in the informal settlements of Edendale called for an extraordinary heroic response from 13-year-old Nosipho Zondi after she valiantly put her life at risk to save her younger brothers from being burned alive in a house fire.

Nosipho, a grade eight pupil from Haythorne Secondary in Woodlands, was the quickest to react after an electrical short with their kettle caused a spark which led to a fire that made its way through two rooms in her home.

“Once the fire started, my mother, who is ill, and sister immediately ran outside in a panic and so did I. When we got outside, we realised that my two younger brothers, aged seven and five, were still inside,” said Nosipho.

Not taking into consideration her own safety and well-being, Nosipho rushed to her brothers window where they were gasping for air and, without a second thought of the [broken] glass, pulled her brothers out, protecting them with her hands while exposing herself to the glass.

“The house was burning and completely engulfed in flames so I had to pull them out.

I did not think about myself at that moment,” said Nosipho, who sustained major injuries to her right hand, her dominant hand.

Nosipho was rushed to Edendale Hospital where they treated the cuts on her hand and supplied her with a special brace which will render her right hand almost completely useless for the next four months. Everyone else who was in the house managed to escape unscathed.

“For now, I am trying to use my left to hand to write down my notes and do school work,” said Nosipho. Vice Principal of Haythorne Secondary Kaylene Goosen said that she and the school were extremely proud of Nosipho for her heroic deeds. “These are the real life heroines that we need to be celebrating this Women’s Month — these are the people we need to acknowledge,” said Goosen.

Goosen said that the school is undergoing preparations to host an assembly to acknowledge Nosipho and they will be taking in any donations for Nosipho and her family for the repair of the two rooms in their house that were destroyed by the fire. Those wishing to make a contribution towards Zondi and her family can contact the school at 033 387 4291/2 for further details.