Fast action by four people, three of them expats, saved the life of an elderly woman Monday afternoon following a gas explosion in her Edificio Otorongo apartment.
Witnesses say William Wilson and another man who lived in the building rushed to the woman’s apartment following the explosion, finding her engulfed in flames. The men extinguished the fire with blankets and water. Also helping in the rescue were William’s wife Susan and Jim Cory.
The woman, believed to be in her late-80s and the mother of building’s owner, was taken to the hospital by ambulance where doctors say she suffered second degree burns to her legs, hands and face.
According to firemen, the explosion occurred in the apartment living room, apparently set off when the victim attempted to move a gas heater. The ensuing fire destroyed much of the apartment and its contents and caused smoke damage to other apartments in the building, some occupied by foreign residents.
In addition to the apartments, the building, which fronts Otorongo Plaza and Calle Tres de Noviembre, houses Otorongo Cafe, formerly Magnolia Cafe, as well as a pilates gym and yoga studio.