Narrow escape for good Samaritan: Who plunged into raging inferno to save 13-month-old baby


THERE is no gainsaying that it is rare in our present day world to hear of a man staking his life to save the life of another; especially with the recurrent unwarranted cold-blooded killings of innocent citizens in parts of the country.
But the action of a middle-aged man in Makurdi has clearly shown that there are still Nigerians who are prepared to lay down their lives to save the live of another.
For Michael Anthony, an electrician by profession, his decision to dare death, by plunging into a raging fire to save a 13-month-old baby from being consumed in an unfortunate inferno in his neighborhood, stands him out as a  true Nigerian that our nation craves for.
He is today bed-ridden and wriggling in pains after he damned all consequences and jumped into a raging inferno to save the baby, only to get trapped in the building. But for the grace of God, he wouldn’t have been alive to tell his story.
When Crime Alert visited the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, the good Samaritan was seen lying motionless at the intensive care unit of the hospital, wrapped in layers of boundages as he groans in pains.
Though people daily throng the hospital to catch a glimpse of this exceptional Nigerian, his condition calls for speedy intervention of public spirited and well- meaning Nigerians to help his poor parents foot his bill and also seek better healthcare for him, anywhere possible.
Narrating his story to Crime Alert in a tardy voice, he said he had just come back from church and was at home that evening around the Benue state owner/occupier housing estate, along the popular Abu King ShuluwaRoad, when a sudden fire engulfed a neighbour’s house while the owners of the house were out.
According to him, “the fire started that evening without anybody noticing it; before anyone knew what was happening, the inferno had spread like wild fire, engulfing the entire house.   At the point, people in the neighborhood made desperate efforts to rescue three children from the fire but the inferno intensified.
“Unfortunately, we were still hearing the cry of a baby from the house and given the intensity of the spreading fire, nobody was ready to risk his life in order to save the crying baby that was trapped in the building.  Though people had already made telephone calls to the state fire service, it became obvious that the baby might be consumed if nothing urgent was done to save her.
“There was wailing and crying by the helpless neighbours who were shouting for help to rescue the baby but no one was ready to take the risk because at that point, it was as if the entire building would cave in and collapse on the crying baby. It was at that point that I summoned courage, said a word of prayer and dashed into the raging fire because I could no more stand the cry of the dying baby.
“I was able to locate her in one of the rooms where she was trapped; I picked her up and managed to throw her out of  one of the windows from where neighbours took her away.  But from that point, part of the roof of the house collapsed on me, and it became difficult to trace my way out of the engulfed house and the windows of the building had burglary proof and I couldn’t squeeze myself out. I thought it was all over for me because part of my cloths and body were already on fire and I was gradually choking and was no longer seeing the outside of the building.
“All I was hearing at that point was people shouting that I was dead and no one attempted to come near. But I kept praying and reminding God that since I only came to save an innocent baby from a horrendous death,  my life should also be spared.
Though at that instance, parts of my body were already on fire but I managed to push forward with all the strength within me, and I finally made it out miraculously.
“At this time I was completely exhausted and could hardly recognize anybody and in serious pains since my body had already started burning. Luckily, my parents and other onlookers  rushed me to this hospital were I am presently receiving treatment.”
While being grateful to God, Micheal urged well-meaning Nigerians to come to his aid lamenting that his poor parents might not be able to foot his medical bills and also sponsor the surgery that he might undergo in the coming days.
Crime Alert also gathered from Micheal’s father, Mr. Anthony Anthony, a trader from Enugu state, who acknowledged that the action that was taken by his son to save the life of the baby was highly commendable and a trait every Nigerian should possess.
“I have no regrets for the action my son took to save the little baby; in fact every Nigeria should learn from this singular action. We must all learn to be our brothers keeper irrespective of who and what you are.  My only plea is that Nigerians should please not allow my son to die from the burns he had suffered. He is in so much pains and we lack the finance to take care of him.  If that is done, I’ll be a satisfied man and Michael will also be happy and not regret that he put his life on the line to save an innocent life.”


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