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London - Hatzolah Member Helps In Rescue Of Muslim Toddler From Burning House

Published on: July 1, 2011 08:21 AM
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CCTV footage shows the unidentified woman and Hatzolah member Jo Berkovits save Arafat Hassan, who was stranded inside a burning homeCCTV footage shows the unidentified woman and Hatzolah member Jo Berkovits save Arafat Hassan, who was stranded inside a burning home

London - A woman risked her life to enter a blazing building and rescue a two-year-old boy.

CCTV footage shows the unidentified woman rushing into a blazing house in Tottenham to save Arafat Hassan, who was stranded inside.

The toddler was fighting for his life today in intensive care after suffering severe burns when the blaze swept through his family’s terrace home in Antill Road yesterday afternoon.

The courageous woman was helped in the rescue by a paramedic and a chef from a nearby restaurant, who also ran into the blazing building.
Neighbours said she was driving past the house when she heard Arafat’s pregnant mother screaming for help. The boy’s father, Sadir Hassan, was apparently struggling to get inside, having been beaten back by the flames while helping other
people to get out of the house.

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According to eyewitnesses, the woman, wearing blue jeans and a green vest top, leapt from her car and ran inside with little thought for her own safety.

She appeared moments later carrying the child and took him to a restaurant across the street. Josh Berkovits, a paramedic, also helped to get Arafat to safety and gave emergency medical treatment.

Mr Berkovits, 35, who works with Hatzola, a local ambulance service run by the Jewish community, cut off the boy’s clothes, applied burns gel to his wounds and wrapped him in cling film to stop infection.

“The boy had burns to about 80 per cent of his body,” said Mr Berkovits. “When we got him to the restaurant he stopped screaming. He had breathed in a lot of smoke so was very quiet.”

The chef, Javier Fajardo-Toledo, 40, from Ecuador, said: “When the lady got the baby into the restaurant I tried to help but he was burnt very badly. The lady was really brave, she didn’t think twice.”

Four fire engines and 20 firefighters were called to the blaze, which destroyed the two-storey house. Today, the Hassan family, believed to be from Somalia, said the mystery woman was “amazing” but were too shocked to comment further.

Neighbour Matthew Miller said: “The little boy was so badly burned, all over his face and arms, but he was totally quiet.

“What all three people did was amazingly brave, they are heroes. Most people just wouldn’t.


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Read Comments (20)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 01, 2011 at 08:39 AM Babishka Says:

Looks like the baby was actually rescued by the woman wearing jeans and a tank top, then she handed over the baby to the Hatzolah paramedic.

2

 Jul 01, 2011 at 09:12 AM Shmoger Says:

kiddush hashem

3

 Jul 01, 2011 at 11:04 AM newtransplant Says:

This article should be about the woman who risked her life to run into the building - hatzolo was there for afterwards which also helped but the main issue was the running inot the house....

4

 Jul 01, 2011 at 10:58 AM VeyIzMir Says:

I do hope this is not the same as when Moishe Rabbeinu pulled Dasan and Averum from the bricks in Mitzrayim.

5

 Jul 01, 2011 at 10:55 AM 5TResident Says:

Its a huge mitzvah and a Kiddush Hashem, but unfortunately, it will change nothing. I'm sure Magen Dovid in Israel has saved countless Muslims' lives in car accidents and fires and whatnot, but they will still hate us. How many Gentile lives have Jewish doctors saved? How many hospitals have Jews built? And still, they hate us.

So yasher koach to the brave woman who helped to rescue this Muslim person. May Hashem rescue us from the hands of the Muslim r'shaim in your z'chus.

6

 Jul 01, 2011 at 10:01 AM Anon Ibid Opcit Says:

Blessings on Mr. Berkovits for his courage

7

 Jul 01, 2011 at 09:58 AM Ivrianochi Says:

The person in the picture is Mr. Herzka a very chushive hatzalah member in Stamford Hill. (not Jo Berkovitz)

9

 Jul 01, 2011 at 09:53 AM Nobama Says:

What a kiddush hashem, thanks mr berkovitz!

10

 Jul 01, 2011 at 09:48 AM Rooney Says:

What a amazing kiddush Hashem!!! Thank you hatzola for all the hard work you do, may Hashem be with you at all times and may we never have to use you besides for simchos! Once again, thanks

11

 Jul 01, 2011 at 11:30 AM DavidMoshe Says:

Reply to #1  
Babishka Says:

Looks like the baby was actually rescued by the woman wearing jeans and a tank top, then she handed over the baby to the Hatzolah paramedic.

It does look that way, doesn't it? The Hatzolah paramedic is certainly to be commended, but I'm inclined to agree that this article (particularly the title) rather takes away credit from the woman who did the actual rescue.

12

 Jul 01, 2011 at 11:34 AM David Says:

I once read of a Jew who reached out to and helped a neo-nazi who was in a wheel chair. Within a few years, the former nazi was on his way to becoming a ger tzedek. A human life is a human life; it's always a kiddush Hashem to save someone from a situation like this (moreover, a child, regardless of his name, is still a child, and not capable of any sin deserving death). Finally, I think it's an even greater kiddush Hashem to rescue someone who, perhaps, wouldn't do the same for a Jew; you might save not only his life, but maybe even his soul!! The family of this child will remember the bearded man in the kippah who did his best to comfort and heal their child.

13

 Jul 01, 2011 at 12:51 PM Michael BarDaniel Says:

Reply to #4  
VeyIzMir Says:

I do hope this is not the same as when Moishe Rabbeinu pulled Dasan and Averum from the bricks in Mitzrayim.

Moshe Rabbeinu did not pull Dasan and Aviram from the bricks. They were the pair who were fighting and Moshe broke up the argument after which they informed the Egyptian authorities that Moshe had killed an Egyptian. Moshe at that time was around 20 years old.

14

 Jul 01, 2011 at 01:45 PM leftbrooklyn Says:

Reply to #7  
Ivrianochi Says:

The person in the picture is Mr. Herzka a very chushive hatzalah member in Stamford Hill. (not Jo Berkovitz)

All Hatzalah members are chushive!

15

 Jul 01, 2011 at 02:15 PM Reb Yid Says:

The Hatzolah guy did administer first aid to the burns.

As far as the other issue, Moshe pulled Michah (of "pessel michah" fame) from the bricks. Clearly that did not work out well. And hakadosh boruch hu rescued Yishmael and Hagar in the desert. Also had various results. Nonetheless, if Hatzolah were to pick and choose whom to rescue, that would lead to a very dangerous situation for Jews everywhere.

16

 Jul 01, 2011 at 02:48 PM FinVeeNemtMenSeichel Says:

Reply to #13  
Michael BarDaniel Says:

Moshe Rabbeinu did not pull Dasan and Aviram from the bricks. They were the pair who were fighting and Moshe broke up the argument after which they informed the Egyptian authorities that Moshe had killed an Egyptian. Moshe at that time was around 20 years old.

Michah was who was pulled out. You are correct.

17

 Jul 01, 2011 at 03:10 PM marlboro Says:

This is not Josh Berkovitz only Dudi Hertzka one of the heads of Hatzola in London

18

 Jul 01, 2011 at 06:40 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #4  
VeyIzMir Says:

I do hope this is not the same as when Moishe Rabbeinu pulled Dasan and Averum from the bricks in Mitzrayim.

There's a more recent episode. When Mr. Lipsch, who was driving in the late Lubavitch Rebbi's (ztz"l) motorcade saw an a apartment ablaze in Crown Heights in an early morning, he ran into the building and rescued the occupants. The merit of that heroic deed did not stand by him when the tragic accident happened, when his station-wagon was pushed onto the sidewalk by an Olive Green car, driven by an African-American driver who started driving too early on a green light. The rest is History. Otherwise known as the Crown Heights riots of 1991.

19

 Jul 01, 2011 at 06:42 PM bigwheeel Says:

Reply to #5  
5TResident Says:

Its a huge mitzvah and a Kiddush Hashem, but unfortunately, it will change nothing. I'm sure Magen Dovid in Israel has saved countless Muslims' lives in car accidents and fires and whatnot, but they will still hate us. How many Gentile lives have Jewish doctors saved? How many hospitals have Jews built? And still, they hate us.

So yasher koach to the brave woman who helped to rescue this Muslim person. May Hashem rescue us from the hands of the Muslim r'shaim in your z'chus.

You express my feelings, exactly.

20

 Jul 03, 2011 at 06:54 AM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #18  
bigwheeel Says:

There's a more recent episode. When Mr. Lipsch, who was driving in the late Lubavitch Rebbi's (ztz"l) motorcade saw an a apartment ablaze in Crown Heights in an early morning, he ran into the building and rescued the occupants. The merit of that heroic deed did not stand by him when the tragic accident happened, when his station-wagon was pushed onto the sidewalk by an Olive Green car, driven by an African-American driver who started driving too early on a green light. The rest is History. Otherwise known as the Crown Heights riots of 1991.

"The merit of that heroic deed did not stand by him when the tragic accident happened"
Really? You are certain that his "heroic deed did not stand him..."? Perhaps the merit saved him from the mob that initially surrounded his vehicle after the accident.

21

 Jul 03, 2011 at 12:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
VeyIzMir Says:

I do hope this is not the same as when Moishe Rabbeinu pulled Dasan and Averum from the bricks in Mitzrayim.

VeyIzMir Says: “ I do hope this is not the same as when Moishe Rabbeinu pulled Dasan and Averum from the bricks in Mitzrayim. ”

And I do also hope that this comment is not the same as when Gd enabled Bilaam's donkey to talk!

22

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