Family members remember firefighting heroes



JOHANNESBURG - The family members of one of the firefighters who died in the Johannesburg CBD blaze says the only thing carrying them through the pain, is that he died a hero.

Khathutshelo Muedi's family said he loved serving his country.

Muedi's one of three who lost their lives in the tragedy.

His brother, Israel, said he's lost his best friend.

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When Israel heard about the fire in the Johannesburg CBD on Tuesday, he rushed to the scene.

 All he knew was that his brother Khathutshelo had said he'd be working at that time.

“I saw everything; my brother was in that building for about three hours…I saw them bring him out. I cried.”

Israel says the only thing he could do was pray.

“I said God, if it is his time, take him peacefully."

READ: Mop-up operations under way after Joburg CBD fire

He's described how his brother had been fulfilling a childhood dream by becoming a firefighter.

Israel has recalled the day in 2004 that his brother heard the news that he would be permanently employed.

“He was so happy, everybody knew that Khathu wanted to be fire fighter at home.”

Khathutshelo leaves behind three children. His youngest is only three-weeks-old.

His wife, who won’t speak to the media, is said to be struggling to come to terms with the news.

Their 63-year-old mother had to receive medical treatment after hearing the news of her son's death.

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Israel says the whole family is comforted by one thing.

“We are comforted that he died a hero.”

Khathutshelo's body is yet to be identified and his loved ones have been told to prepare for the worst.

The family also said it doesn’t want to comment on other issues surrounding the incident, including allegations of negligence until after the burial.

A memorial service will be held for the fallen firefighter in Pretoria on Monday and he'll be laid to rest in Limpopo over the weekend.


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