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Hero Saudi security officer rescues 17 doctors from hospital blaze

Ahmed Awad Anzi, told Al Arabiya the details of what happened and how he rescued the female doctors and children

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A Saudi hospital security officer has spoken of the moment he saved 17 doctors and children when a fire ripped through King Khaled Hospital in Al-Kharj in Saudi Arabia.

Ahmed Awad Anzi, 27, told Al Arabiya of his heroic actions. “When I entered the hospital headquarters, I heard colleagues say that there is a fire in the residential building of the hospital. We went immediately to the site and when I detected the smoke coming out of the building I asked colleagues if they have informed the civil defense forces. They assured me that help was coming,” he said.

“I couldn’t wait any longer, knowing there were children and women in the building. I used my wet shirt as a barrier to the smoke and I rushed inside, knocking on doors and waking up the residents who were sound asleep while others were alarmed by the smoke,” he continued.

The last one was the tough one

And Anzi recalled how he saved the last sleeping doctor as the blaze ripped through the building: “After I made sure that we evacuated the place and rescued the doctors and children. One physician told me that her colleague was still sleeping inside the burning building. I took the details of her room and raced back inside, but the situation was more difficult due to the concentration of smoke.”

To avoid smoke inhalation, he was forced to crawl. He said: “Having reached her room, I knocked on the door until she opened. She was completely unaware of the fire. The minute she opened the door, she breathed in the smoke and began to faint. I tried to hold her and get her out, but the smoke got a lot worse, I asked her to crawl on her knees so we could escape the danger.”

He was successful in rescuing the last doctor, Anzi arrived at the door, but inhaled smoke: “I held my breath the entire time so I could save the last doctor. Once I breathed in my lungs filled with smoke, I lost consciousness, and I was taken to the emergency room”

Expects nothing in return

When asked about the reason behind his bravery, he said he would never have forgiven himself if something had happened to the women and children.: “I was afraid that the situation would get worse and I would regret not saving or helping them.”

This article is also available in Arabic on AlArabiya.net