Showing presence of mind and bravery, a 25-year-old attendant saved the lives of three elderly patients from a raging fire that broke out at a hospital in Ahmedabad early on Thursday, August 6.
According to fire brigade officials, eight patients who were being treated at the ICU ward of the COVID-19 designated Shrey Hospital in the city's Navrangpura area, died in the fire.
When the fire broke out at around 3 AM, eight fire engines and 10 ambulances of the fire department were rushed to the site to douse the fire.
The police said that a special ICU chamber was created on the fourth floor for critical COVID-19 patients, and there were 11 patients on the floor when the fire broke out.
Hospital attendant Chirag Patel said the fire was first spotted by another attendant on the fourth floor around 3 am. Patel risked his life and saved three elderly patients.
"When I went to the fourth floor after that, I saw flames coming out from a monitor of some medical equipment near a patient's bed. Soon, that patient's hair caught fire. I doused it immediately," Patel was quoted as saying by PTI.
"Just as I pulled the bed away from the monitor, another attendant's PPE suit caught fire. Luckily, a doctor came upstairs with a bucket of water and poured it on the attendant and saved him. Suddenly, there was a blast inside the ICU ward. Though we went up again to rescue patients, it was not possible to go inside due to thick smoke and extremely low visibility," he added.
Patel further said that as the other doctors and attendants were feeling uneasy due to the smoke, he decided to stay there and asked others to go down for their safety. The hospital staff then alerted the fire brigade.
"I was the only one left on the fourth floor and I decided to save as many as possible. I first lifted an elderly woman patient, who could not walk, in my arms and took her downstairs," Patel said.
He then returned to the spot, although it was covered in thick smoke, and helped another elderly woman who had fallen down and was unable to walk. He helped her walk down safely along with another male patient.
"Since the smoke was getting very dense and my oxygen level was dropping, I couldn't go inside again. I then climbed the fourth floor using outside pipes and tried to rescue the patients from windows, but couldn't break them," he claimed.
"I am glad that I was able to save three critical patients. For me, a patient's life is more important than my own life," Patel added.