Ottos home lost, teen seriously burnt

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Fear turned to relief for family and residents in the Ottos area yesterday morning when a teenage boy, whom they feared had perished in a house fire, came staggering out of the inferno.
Shrill screams and cries of “Jesus”, “Hallelujah”, and “Glory, oh give God thanks” were chanted as the boy – said to be 13 years old – emerged from inside the house, right in the area where firemen were focusing on dousing the flames.
His body, mostly his thighs, legs, face and hands, were visibly burned. It was unclear whether he had been burned on the chest, since his torn shirt was still clinging to his body. There were also signs of burns to his back as firemen, including some who had not yet suited up, rushed him away from the flames before he collapsed in the arms of one of the officers who lifted him and carried him to a waiting ambulance.
The injured child was reportedly visiting the house at the time. Residents said they were alerted to the fire when they saw smoke coming from the house where a number of children usually stay daily. One woman said they called the fire service which “didn’t take too long to come” and residents feared that at least two children had perished inside.
Residents said they were scared to try to go into the house to save anyone because the flames grew rapidly and engulfed the small wooden property which was destroyed within a “short time.”
“I was standing outside and some people were there screaming because we know the lil boy was inside. But nobody could go in because the fire was so big,” a neighbour said.
According to the woman who did not want to be named, another neighbour told onlookers that at least two children were inside the house.
“When the firemen [came] we tell them the boys in the house and they rushed in, one of them who was wearing the yellow fire suit was putting out the fire by the front room, right where the lil boy was, maybe he was inside sleeping,” she said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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