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Passers-by save residents of burning apartment building in Ixelles
It’s a story we all wish we could tell about ourselves, and sometimes do, only this time it’s true: Three young men saved people from a burning building in Ixelles on Sunday night.
According to police in the Brussels-Ixelles zone, the fire broke out in an apartment building on Avenue de l’Hippodrome late in the evening. A man riding by on a scooter saw a mattress that was on fire leaning against the façade of the building. As he called the fire brigade, he watched the flames leap from the mattress to shutters and then climb up the façade itself.
A group of three men in their 20s – identified as Younes, Younes and Imad – came upon the scene and immediately broke into the entryway and began yelling and knocking on doors to alert the residents. They led several residents down smoke-filled corridors and out the front door.
But they didn’t stop there: They halted cars heading down the street and asked to use their fire extinguishers. They used them to douse the flames until the fire brigade arrived.
Once firefighters were on the scene, the fire was quickly under control. The façade and stairwell was badly damaged, and one flat on the ground floor has been declared uninhabitable.
The federal police have since assessed that the fire was set deliberately. “Thanks to the commendable heroism of these people, the damage caused by the fire is only material,” said a police spokesperson. “The courage displayed by Younes, Imad and Younes, combined with their quick response and cool-headedness, probably saved the lives of six people, including a young child.”
Photo courtesy Belga