A French Muslim man who risked his life by entering a burning building to help rescue 17 people, including a baby, is being hailed as a hero.
According to French media, a fire broke out on Friday in a two-story building in Romans-sur-Isere in southeastern France.
Ezzedine Hamdi, a baker at the Fournil de Jacquemart bakery underneath the building, was one of the few people to to be awake in the early morning when the fire broke out.
When he heard screams he exited his bakery and saw that the building above was in flames.
He then called firefighters at 3:54 a.m., and it quickly emerged that 17 people were trapped.
But Ezzedine didn’t hesitate or wait for the firefighters. He used a ladder to climb up to a window where a woman handed him her baby. After he took the baby to safety he went back up to help her. The firefighters then arrived and took over.
“When we arrived there were already flames five to six meters high, the stairwell was burned, impassable,” said Lieutenant Baptiste Devis.
Unfortunately, Ezzedine’s bakery was also damaged by the flames.
Journalists reported that one of the occupants of the apartment which caught fire did not want to speak to the journalists, but simply repeated: “He saved everyone,” pointing to Ezzedine.
With Ezzedine Hamdi praised as a hero in the neighbourhood and on social media, numerous Twitter users said he is deserving of a Legion of Honor, France’s highest order of merit.