Firefighting garbage men hailed as heroes

City heroes, Gavin Daniels, Robert Scholtz, Michiel Abrahams and Micheal Hendricks.

Goodwoodpark Créche might not have reached its 37th anniversary on Friday if not for four City of Cape Town garbage men.

According to creche principal Natasha Smith, parents were dropping their children off at the Townsend Street preschool on Monday morning, October 12, when a fire broke out in an oven in the kitchen.

When a fire extinguisher didn’t stop the blaze, kitchen staff Julie Damones and Gadhulla Ross called the fire department, while Ms Smith got the children to safety.

The four garbage men, Gavin Daniels, Robert Scholtz, Michiel Abrahams and Micheal Hendricks, who were in Townsend Street at the time, went to help and soon had the fire under control.

Ms Smith believes an electrical short in the stove caused the fire.

“If not for the workers, our school would have caught fire and everything would have been gone,” she said. “I would like to honour these workers who went far and beyond to help us to keep our doors open and safe for our learners especially in these dire times that we are facing.

“These guys went out of their way to help and assist us – this is what I call being a hero.”

Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for water and waste, praised the four men for the bravery and initiative they had shown.

“Our refuse-collections staff have consistently demonstrated commitment and dedication, carrying out their duties throughout the lockdown period, at times in very rough weather. But this act of heroism takes it to a new level, especially considering that they resumed their collection beat straight afterwards. I thank and applaud them – bravo!”