November 24, 2011 morning, fire broke out in a residential area, 134 Shitou Street in West Lake District, Nanchang City. During this fire an ordinary citizen touched many people’s heart: he rescued 8 lives from the fire bravely and selflessly, it was not until afterwards he found his own family was still trapped in flames. In the end fire mercilessly swallowed up his wife, son and mother-in-law, but his touching story passes on in the neighborhood.
At 4 am on November 24, reporter learned that a huge fire broke out on Shitou Street, West Lake District. When rushed to the scene, streets are filled with residents escaped out from the fire. In the chaotic crowd, a 50-year-old man was crying in an exceptionally piercing voice, “Don’t hold me, I will go save them.” Reporter found out that this man’s wife, son and mother-in-law were still strapped in the fire. But by then the fire already sealed off all entrances, going inside was suicide.
A group of people held this man and tried to comfort him. A bystander told the reporter, “His name is Xiong Niaobao, 52 years old, sells cement for living. Many people in this group were rescued out from the fire by this man.”
The fire killed nine people, unfortunately, three of them were Xiong’s wife, son and mother-in-law. Yesterday afternoon, the reporter met Xiong at the mourning hall. He kept crying and murmuring, “I am so sorry to you, you must take care of each other over there.”
Reporter learned that though Xiong’s family members were killed, 8 other people from his two neighbor families were saved because of his timely rescue. Xiong’s heroic act which sacrificed himself to save other people was praised by everyone in the neighborhood.
During the fire, Xiong woke up his wife and mother-in-law before even putting on his shoes. 4 of them went for the stairs to attempt to escape from the building. At this critical moment, he did not see any neighbors came out, so Xiong, without hesitation, rushed back to the corridor and banged on every neighbor’s doors and shouted, “Fire!” At this time, fire already crept up from behind.
One resident told the reporter, “I was saved by Xiong. When the incident happened, my wife and I were asleep. My wife heard Xiong banging on the door and yelling ‘Fire! Wake up!” louder and louder. My wife woke up and noticed there was no fire in the room but when opening the door a thick smoke rushed inside. At this time downstairs was already in blaze of fire. My wife woke me up in a hurry, we desperately escaped outside through the window. If wasn’t for Xiong Niaobao, we probably are killed by the fire.”
Another neighbor Hu did not even believe him at first, but went opening the door fire already sealed off all the exits. He rushed to wake up all his family to escape. At this time Xiong Niaobao then escaped out through the window in the thick smoke.
It was not until Xiong came out, he then realized his family was still trapped in the sea of fire….
Xiong Niaobao is from Fushan village, Nanchang County, came to the city for work since 1980. He lived in this old residential building for over 30 years and had good relations with the neighbors.
Yesterday reporter met with Xiong, and Xiong described what had happened in a weak voice.
“Seeing the fire creeping up, if I didn’t do something, everyone would be doomed.” Xiong Niaobao said, “I suddenly woke up after choked on smoke. The room was filled with smoke, flames were burning up from the cracks on the floor. First floor was on fire, in less than 1 second, the fire would burn to the 2nd floor.”
Xiong’s rescue story touched many people, relevant department arranged Xiong to stay in the hotel temporarily. Victims already received disaster relief gifts and funds from the local government.
People Xiong saved:
Hu Guohe, Ding Dongmei, Hu Yuhao, Fan Zeliang, Xie Chunxiang, Fan Yan, and other two are a couple who are deaf.