Misc 15/12/2020

"Sehou, you're alive!"

One of the injured by the fire in the Badalona warehouse returns with the group after being discharged

Cesc Maideu
3 min
En Sehou, aquesta tarda, després de retrobar-se amb els seus companys

Badalona"I jumped from the roof because if not the fire would have eaten me, I almost broke my back and I spent four days in hospital," Sehou, 33, explained on Monday to his colleagues, who left him for dead after seeing him lying on the ground with no signs of life. The day of the fire in the industrial building in Badalona, many of them saw him jump from the highest point of the warehouse, and assumed that he would not have survived the blow. In fact, they had already placed Sehou's name in the death count. Others said he was safe and sound in the hospital, and someone even said he had got to talk to him on the phone. This Monday afternoon, seeing him arrive lame, but finally alive, there was an outburst of surprise in the whole community. "Have you seen Sehou? He's alive, I can't believe it," everyone said throughout the afternoon. Everything was congratulations, smiles and hugs. So many that sometimes Sehou complained: "Careful, my back hurts," he would say when someone held him too tightly. As a result of the blows, he wears a turtle shell on his back to keep him upright, a neck brace and his ankles are bandaged.

"I was discharged and had to get on the bus because I had no money, and I still don't know where I will sleep tonight," he told the ARA. He admits that he will always remember the fateful fire, since he saw "death at close hand". He was on the terrace, which is on the fourth floor, chatting quietly with a few friends. Suddenly, "screams, smoke, and a lot of stress". "We were trapped, and I had the feeling that the firemen were far away and the fire was getting closer," he remembers. He valued waiting for a rescue, but the thought that won out was "they won't get here in time". "Faced with this, I jumped, without thinking," he explains.

"I couldn't move, I couldn't talk, I wanted to scream and I couldn't." Sehou recalls that he never lost consciousness. He was quickly taken to the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, which is 6 kilometres from the burnt-out building. "I have fractured many things, including my ankles and some vertebrae, but I haven't broken anything," he describes. At this point, Sehou changes the subject, and reminding us that he is already used to extreme situations. Five years ago he left his home country of Gambia and took a boat to Italy. There he found no future, and decided to try his luck in Germany, without success. He has now been in Badalona for a year, where until five days ago he lived in a warehouse with 150 people and made some money selling scrap metal.

Reality check

"I was released from the hospital today. Where am I going?" he asked himself then. With no money, four miles away from his friends and his old house burned down. "I snuck on the bus, and made two transfers to Gorg," he explains. Once there, and after the burst of joy, Sehou confesses that he still does not know where he will sleep. "I've lost everything, the house, my belongings. The only thing I have left is my mobile phone, which also survived the jump from the fourth floor and only half the screen was broken," she says. The uncertainty of having no roof over his head has been short-lived, as his colleagues have pledged to make room for him wherever he goes. "We can't leave him in the street with half his bones broken," Mamadou explains. Sehou has been reborn. But he has done so in a reality that is completely the same as before: no house, no money, no papers and no future. "I've been saved, but now what?"