10 Dec, 2019 @ 15:30
1 min read

Paperless street hawker who rescued disabled man from burning apartment in Denia has residency request sent to regional government


AN UNDOCUMENTED immigrant working as a street hawker in Denia has had a request for immediate residency sent to the Valencian government.

Gorgui Lamine Sow made headlines around Spain when he saved 39-year-old Alex – who suffers from a disability – out of his first-floor apartment after it dramatically caught fire in Denia.

Photographs of the heroic rescue showed Gorgui fireman’s lifting Alex down a precarious ladder while the disabled man vomited due to smoke inhalation.

‘HERO’: Gorgui Lamine Sow, 20, rescued disabled Alex from his apartment after it caught fire in Denia

But the street hawker’s identity was unknown until reports today revealed he was a 20-year-old undocumented immigrant living in a Gandia squat without a door alongside his wife and young child.

A Change.org petition to reward Gorgui’s selfless act with permanent residency Spain was immediately launched.

“A native of Senegal, he came to Spain in search of a better future for him and his family,” the petition wrote.

“His gesture deserves that the political authorities take a step forward and grant him the regularisation he deservedly earned after his act of citizenship.”

8342_gorgui Lamine Sow
‘BETTER FUTURE’: Denia Town Hall has made a formal request for residency concerning Gorgui and his wife and child

Unbeknownst to the petition’s creators Denia Town Hall has already requested residency for Gorgui, his wife and child, by contacting the Spanish government’s subdelegation in Valencian.

According to Denia.com, regularisation is contemplated more seriously when the case concerns a matter of popular interest.

Denia Town Hall will also decorate Gorgui for his heroic act with a municipal distinction for intervention in acts of emergency.

“I saved Alex because my heart told me to,” Gorgui told Diario Información.

“I’m poor. I have nothing. But I am also strong and can help. I don’t like to see people suffer.”

Gorgui reportedly arrived in Spain on August 19, 2017, after spending time in Brasil and Argentina.

He currently commutes to Denia every day by bus from Gandia, where his young family sleep together on a sofa.

“I want papers so I can work and live here with my family,” he said.

Joshua Parfitt

Joshua James Parfitt is the Costa Blanca correspondent for the Olive Press. He holds a gold-standard NCTJ in multimedia journalism from the award-winning News Associates in Twickenham. His work has been published in the Sunday Times, Esquire, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Sun on Sunday, the Mirror, among others. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast to discuss devastating flooding in Spain, as well as making appearances on BBC and LBC radio stations.

Contact me now: [email protected] or call +44 07960046259. Twitter: @jjparfitt

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