‘I heard his cries’: Tradie’s care home heartbreak

 

THE strained fearful voice that called out "I'm here, I'm here," is all carpenter Hayssam Sabsabi could hear when he forced entry into a disability care home where two residents were trapped in a blaze.

"It was like a furnace, I opened the door where one man was calling for help, the smoke hit me in the face but I was able to drag him to a front window and heave him out," an emotional Mr Sabsabi said.

"I couldn't get to the other one, the smoke was too thick, I heard his voice from back of the house, 'I'm here, I'm here', but I couldn't get to him, the smoke was black, I feel so bad he didn't make it."

Hayssam Sabsabi rescued a man from a burning home this morning in Carramar in Sydney, where another man died at the scene. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
Hayssam Sabsabi rescued a man from a burning home this morning in Carramar in Sydney, where another man died at the scene. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

Mr Sabsabi was flagged down in his ute on the way to work by three distressed care workers in the street outside the home for independent living in Carramar, south west Sydney.

Emergency crews were alerted shortly after 7am and broke into the locked facility and dragged the man to a rear patio where they performed CPR.

It is believed the man in his 40s died at the scene from smoke inhalation which triggered a heart attack.

Detectives are investigating whether the fire alarm at the facility failed to work. It is understood alarm batteries were found on the floor of the home in the complex were carers also reside.

 

The scene of a fatality as a man was killed during a house fire in Carramar in Sydney’s South West. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
The scene of a fatality as a man was killed during a house fire in Carramar in Sydney’s South West. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

Neighbours say they did not hear the sound of a fire alarm and a live-in carer woken by the smell of acrid smoke is believed to have raised the alarm.

His attempts to get to the screaming man were thwarted by thick smoke which rammed the back door shut. The front door was locked.

Mr Sabsabi used a screwdriver to dismantle the fly screen to get into the home.

"Thank god I had my tools with me and was able to save one of them," he said.

Fire and Rescue Assistant Commissioner Paul McGuiggan briefs the media at the scene. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
Fire and Rescue Assistant Commissioner Paul McGuiggan briefs the media at the scene. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

A lengthy investigation is expected to follow as some of the residents at the facility have disabilities, some non verbal. It is still not clear at this stage what caused the blaze.

One carer said "it's like losing a family member."

Neighbour Kim Nguyen said she was woken by her barking dogs.

"There was no alarm sounding, my dogs went mad barking and when I went out to bring them in I could hear banging on the door as firemen broke in and could smell the pungent smoke."

Acting deputy commissioner for NSW Fire and Rescue Paul McGuiggan said the smoke alarm was removed for testing.

"The smoke alarm is being checked, it's just not right to just have a smoke alarm, it needs to be working, whether the one on the premises was is the subject of an investigation," he said.

The home is run by independent living experts supporting people with physical or mental disabilities with their hospital visits, food shops, cleaning, laundry and showering.

The home's website states residents live in specialist disability accommodation as part of their NDIS plan, some with live in carers.

The Carramar complex houses around six units each housing two residents.

 

Originally published as 'I heard his cries': Tradie's care home heartbreak

Neighbours say they did not hear the sound of a fire alarm. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
Neighbours say they did not hear the sound of a fire alarm. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
One man died as a result of the fire. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper
One man died as a result of the fire. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper


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