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Vancouver man helps save rickshaw riders in Egypt after fire breaks out

Click to play video: 'Vancouver man helps save rickshaw riders from fire'
Vancouver man helps save rickshaw riders from fire
A Vancouver man is sharing his story of a near-disaster during his trip to Cairo, when he spotted an auto-rickshaw on fire. John Hua reports – May 21, 2024

A B.C. couple visiting Egypt recently jumped into action to help two young men in an auto-rickshaw.

Bassem Ghabrous and his wife moved to Canada seven years ago so she could complete her PhD at the University of British Columbia.

However, they recently returned to Egypt to visit family and Ghabrous’ mom.

Just this past weekend the couple was in Cairo and driving home around 11 p.m. when they turned a corner and saw a rickshaw going up the ramp.

That’s when Ghabrous said he noticed a fire at the back of the vehicle.

“It was on fire, and they couldn’t, they’re just going fast and probably it just started,” Ghabrous said.

“They couldn’t notice it. And then there was a car driving by and he was trying to warn them.”

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Click to play video: 'Woman grateful for ‘hero’ who helped rescue her from burning apartment building'
Woman grateful for ‘hero’ who helped rescue her from burning apartment building

Ghabrous said he was behind the rickshaw honking the horn.

“They didn’t notice it because the fire was in the back and the engine was in the back,” he said.

Finally, the two men noticed, pulling over to the side of the road and getting out quickly. That’s when Ghabrous sprung into action, running towards the small vehicle with a fire extinguisher from his trunk.

The incident was captured on video.

“They could’ve lost their lives so I was very tense and they were so grateful after and things calmed down,” he added.

Click to play video: '‘Grizzly’ rescue on Quarry Rock'
‘Grizzly’ rescue on Quarry Rock

The Vancouver-based musician, best known for his smooth melodies and infectious smile is being celebrated by family and friends for an unwavering will to help others.

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“When he was running towards it, it really could have exploded at any moment right then and there,” Mary Kostandy, Ghabrous’ wife told Global News.

“Who would know? The fire was really big.”

In the video, the rickshaw drivers are very grateful for the help.

“When you kiss somebody’s head in Middle Eastern culture it’s a way for being grateful in a very respectful manner,” Ghabrous said.

He said while he doesn’t expect to see any rickshaws on fire soon, he will always have a fire extinguisher at the ready.

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