Yangon ‘Spiderman’ scales burning building, saves woman’s life

Pyae Zar Nyi Nway climbed up the side of a burning building to save at least one woman before the fire was put out on May 5, 2018. Photos: Facebook / Mg Mg Hla

Spiderman may not have survived the latest Marvel movie (though the jury is still out on that), but Yangon residents can rest easy knowing there is at least one brave individual ready to scale buildings and rescue damsels in distress.

When a fire broke out in a tour company office on Sule Pagoda Road on May 5, Pyae Zar Nyi Nway leapt into action, saving the life of at least one woman working in the office. In videos and pictures captured and shared by a Facebook user who lived in a neighboring building, at least four people can be seen standing on window ledges and aircon units in an attempt to keep away from the flames and smoke.

As the smoke billows, the videographer can be heard urging the residents to remain calm, keep their noses away from the smoke, and not jump. He assures the scared employees and residents that help is on the way. As he says this, Pyae Zar Nyi Nway can be seen shimmying up the blue PVC pipes that run up the sides of the building.

Though there are moments when he struggles to find his next foot or handhold, he eventually makes it to the young woman sitting in front of the window, where the worst of the smoke was coming from. With his help, she is able to slowly make her way down the outside of her building while neighbors are yelling out their support and advise.

According to the Myanmar Fire Services Department’s Facebook page, the fire was put out 10 minutes after it started. But for many like Pyae Zar Nyi Nway, there was no time to wait for the firefighters. The video shows at least one other man who had scaled the side of the building and nearly 10 other people who were trying to build a makeshift ladder with nearby construction scaffolding.

In an interview after the fire, Pyae Zar Nyi Nway said: “When I heard people saying, ‘I’m going to jump! I’m going to jump!’, somehow, I climbed up there.”

Truly, a hero walks among us.

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