A Durban woman has been showered with a lot of raise for risking her life by running into a burning building in the Durban city centre to save her aunt's blind cat.
Zaakirah Chenia said she was among the last people to leave the Aboobaker Mansions on the corner of Dennis Hurley Street and Dr Yusuf Dadoo Street on Wednesday morning when she realised her aunt's beloved pet cat ‘Boy’ was still inside.
Risking succumbing to smoke inhalation from the thick smoke billowing from the shops below the flat, the 24-year-old dashed up the stairs to save her aunt's ginger cat.
She said that her first concern was for her 78-year-old aunt whom she got to safety first. After ensuring that her aunt was safe, Chenia went back into the building to save Boy.
After finding him, she put Boy, who is 13-years-old and fully blind in a black bag and ran down the stairs.
"He is more than a pet to my aunt and I just had to save him," she said.
Rescue Care Paramedic Ceron Meadows said Boy was later assessed by paramedics and given the all clear.
The drama happened shortly after 8am on Tuesday when several residents were evacuated from the building after a fire broke out in one of the three general dealer shops below the building.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire within minutes before putting it out completely.
Meadows said paramedics treated seven people for smoke inhalation at the scene. No serious injuries were reported.
Speculation at this stage is that the fire started after the cosmetic shops opened and the lights were turned on.
All the residents have since returned to their flats.