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Woman who saved man from house fire hailed as hero

Adenisa Cordoso
Adenisa Cordoso

A woman has been hailed a hero after kicking down a door and saving a man from dying in a house fire on New Year's Day.

While on her way to work, Adenisa Cordoso, who is originally from Brazil, noticed smoke coming from a flat in the Gort area, Co Galway.

She wasn't meant to be working at all that day and if she had not noticed the smoke and stopped to rescue the man, it is feared he would have been killed.

"I saw smoke coming from an upstairs flat over Ken Carr's shop in Gort. I thought nothing of it and drove on - but then something told me to turn back.

"I went up to the door and I heard someone knocking on the other side trying to escape," she said.

She kicked down the door and the man on the other side was "coughing, gasping and bewildered".

"He was overcome with smoke. He wanted to go back inside to get his possessions and I told him to stay with me," she said.

He was crying and frightened but I told him that he needed to think about his life first.

"I told him that his life was more important," said the 43-year-old, who has been living in Gort for the past 17 years and works in the Little Flower Nursing Home in Labane.

The 45-year-old man is also Brazilian and lived in the flat alone. The emergency services were quick to arrive and assured Ms Cordoso that there is no doubt that she had saved his life.

"I called the emergency services and the fire brigade quenched the fire. The man was put on oxygen for 40 minutes and was admitted to University College Hospital Galway," she said.

Ms Cordoso was not due to be working that day but another colleague had asked to swap shifts with her.

"I was not supposed to be working that morning, God put me there.

"I remembered the fire training that I received at the nursing home in December and I knew what I needed to do in order to give this man the best possible chance," she said.

Ms Cordoso has worked as a cleaner at the Little Flower Nursing Home for more than a year.

She has also cleaned for the rich and famous in another job at Lough Cutra, Galway, including Prince Charles and Camilla when they visited last year.

She added that the man "will be looked after" by the large, local Brazilian community.