An undocumented Senegalese migrant in Spain has become a hero after he saved a disabled Spanish man from a burning house in the coastal town of Denia, in Valencia. 

Gorgui Lamine Sow was praised for his bravery and courage after rescuing the disabled man who was trapped in his apartment. 

“I didn’t think about anything. I just heard screams and ran to help,” Mr. Sow, 20, told the Spanish paper El País‘. 

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Posted by Roberta Etter on Friday, December 6, 2019

According to El Paìs, Lamine Sow was selling bracelets and necklaces on the streets of Denia at the start of a long weekend to mark the 41st anniversary of the Spanish Constitution. 

“At about 11:30 am Lamine heard screams not far from where he was standing with his girlfriend and their baby.

“[This man just] came out of nowhere. He threw his merchandise on the ground and then, like Spiderman, he climbed the wall,” a neighbour who witnessed the scene said. 

In the apartment was 39-year-old Álex Caudeli Webster who was reportedly recovering from a stroke and unable to walk or escape from the fire.

“As Lamine was in the apartment, more neighbours arrived with a ladder to help him get down with Caudeli thrown over his shoulder in a kind of ‘fireman’s lift’.

“He saved my life. He climbed the wall and tore down the blind that was on fire. When I tried to go out on the balcony with my walker, the blind hit me on the nose and ear, and look what it did to me,” Caudeli told El País. 

In a picture printed on El Paìs’ website, Caudeli sits in a wheelchair with a bandage on his nose, ear and left hand. Lamine Sow sits next to him wearing a superman T-shirt over his normal clothes, the T-shirt was reportedly a gift from Caudeli, to say thank you.

“He grabbed me like […] a sack of rice, […] he really took the strain. […] I have a problem in my legs, I suffer from vertigo and I couldn’t hold still,” said Caudeli to El País.

Denia residents have called on the Spanish authorities to grant a resident permit to Lamine Sow. More than 55,000 people have signed an online petition asking that they do so. Now the Spanish authorities are considering whether to award Sow a residency permit. 

According to El País, the local authorities in Denia have said they would like to reward Lamine Sow. They have asked the central government to grant him residency. 

The Spanish newspaper reported that his partner and seven-month-old baby already have long-term residency permits. The authorities in Valencia are now looking into the case. El País says that if the request “meets the legal requirements for extraordinary cases, […] Lamine will be granted papers.”

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