A teen from Kilmarnock district in St. Elizabeth is being hailed as a hero after running inside a burning building to rescue an elderly man who has a physical disability.
The youngster is 18-year-old Aldain Daley, who, on May 17 of this year, ran into the burning house of 86-year-old retired farmer Vernon Sewell.
The senior citizen reportedly left his gas stove on by accident.
Aldain was hanging out with friends at a section of the community when he spotted smoke coming from Sewell’s home, which is located on a nearby hill.
“I turned to my friends and say, ‘we can’t be here soh and make the man burn up’. After that I ran off, ran down the hill and ran up here. When I look, the fire was blazing inside,” the teen said.
He began calling out to Sewell, who was not seen although the fire continued to spread.
Moments later, the young man spotted the elderly man barely making his way onto the veranda through a plume of smoke.
“I ran up the stairs and reached the veranda. A blockage was there and I had to kick it away. I call to him and it was like him can’t come. So, I go there and a try lead him and he still can’t move. So, I ended up having to lift him up in my hands and carry him goh out on the step,” Aldain explained.
At that point, two of Aldain’s friends arrived on the scene to render some assistance.
Working together, they brought Sewell down from the hill and away from the fire that by then had completely engulfed the building.
A crowd began to converge at the scene and emergency services were called for help.
Sewell reportedly sustained minor burns across 20 percent of his body, including his face.
He was transported to Black River Hospital where he remains in stable condition.
“He would not be alive today from my observation. If we were like three or four more minutes late, he would burn up, but luckily he got saved and I’m glad that nothing severe duh him,” Aldain said.
He continued: “To tell you the truth, I don’t know where that braveness came from that day. It just appeared and I did what was right. Also, growing up knowing Maas Vernon, him did kind to me and stuff, so I couldn’t be at a close range where I could help him and make him get burn up – no matter the circumstances.”
Aldain is a past student of Black River High School in the parish. He spends most of his days in the community farming as well as performing other odd jobs.
His dream, however, is to one day become a soldier. “Yes, it is what I believe I can do, because I tell myself I want to be a soldier from a tender age growing up. I also want to see Jamaica be a better place, the community and everybody to live as one and unite,” he added.
The young man’s act of bravery has not gone unnoticed in the community, where family and residents continue to praise him for his heroism.
One resident, Marlon Daley, noted that Aldain did a ‘great and brave job’, and that youngsters across Jamaica can take a page from his book.
“Be brave, just like Aldain, to go and rescue the elders. Also, I think the youngsters must look around even more deep now for the elders. Check up on them. Just check while you know that the elders are in the community,” he said.
Meanwhile, personnel from Santa Cruz Fire Station managed to put out the blaze that caused damage to properties, which have an estimated cost of $700,000.
District Officer at the fire station, Omar Simms, said the community and Jamaica should be proud of Aldain and his friends, who sprang into action when they did. He indicated that it was rare to see such an action from the general public.
“It is very rare seeing this. Not many would really take on the task to rescue an elderly like this. Him (Aldain) doing this, I would encourage young people on a whole to admire him,” Simms further said.
Editorial Note: Information for this story was provided by the Jamaica Information Service
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