Orthodox Jews save Somali boy from fire

Two strictly Orthodox men and a medic from Hatzola, the Charedi ambulance service, have saved a young London Somali boy from a fire.

Josh Berkovitz ran into a blazing building in Tottenham, north London, after he heard a mother screaming that her son was trapped in the building yesterday afternoon.

He was alerted by Nochem Perlberger, a former paramedic in Israel, who smelt burning when he returned to his office just yards from the house.

"I smelt burning plastic and then suddenly heard terrible screaming outside," he said. "A woman was shouting hysterically: 'My child is inside'."

Mr Berkovitz and another passer-by ran into the house while Mr Perlberger called the police, fire brigade and Hatzola.

The two-year-old was taken to a nearby restaurant and put under a running tap.

David Herzka, who has volunteered for Hatzola for 24 years, was first on the scene, arriving within two minutes.

"I was in my office nearby when I received the call," he said. "I dropped everything, grabbed my medical bag and got in the car.

"When I arrived, I ran into the restaurant and saw the boy had around 70 per cent burns. It was terrible. I immediately cut off his remaining clothes, applied burn gel and gave him oxygen."

The London ambulance arrived about seven minutes later and continued to treat the boy before taking him to hospital.

Around 20 firefighters battled the fire for more than an hour before it was under control.

    Last updated: 3:19pm, July 1 2011