An undocumented migrant from Senegal has been granted Spanish residency after he saved a disabled man from a burning building in December.

The man, Gorgui Lamine Sow, was granted residency on Friday after he climbed the iron bars of the front door of the apartment when he heard screams from the burning building inside.

On 6th December 2019 the man was walking down a street in Denia on the Northern Costa Blanca. He entered the apartment through the balcony and reappeared a few minutes later with the man over his shoulder. A neighbour placed a ladder against the wall and they were both able to climb down safely.

The Town Hall of Denia asked Spain’s central government to award a residence permit as a sign of their gratitude. Their request was backed by a petition which was signed by some 90.000 people.

Spain’s labor and immigration ministry confirmed on Friday that it had granted Sow residency in recognition of his “act of courage and service to the community.”

Gorgui Lamine Sow arrived in Spain in 2017. He lives in Gandia and travels 40km by bus each day to work as a street vendor in Denia selling necklaces, bracelets, and other items.

“I am poor. But I am also strong and can help. I don’t like to see people suffer. There was smoke and fire. But you can’t be afraid. There was a person inside and I had to get him out,” he told a local daily newspaper last month.


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