An instant decision made by the upazila nirbahi officer of Kalmakanda saved damage to properties and possible loss of lives in his upazila under Netrakona on Saturday night.
Around 11:00pm, while UNO Zakir Hossain was on way to Netrakona Railway Station to catch a train to Dhaka, he took notice of a haystack burning right next to a couple of houses beside Kalmakanda-Netrakona road.
He along with his friends, who were accompanying him, immediately got out of his vehicle and rushed to the spot in their effort to douse the flame.
While they were crying out for locals' help in fetching water to douse the fire, the UNO had his driver turn on the siren of his vehicle in order to caution everyone against the imminent danger, said locals who answered to the distress call of the UNO.
Hearing a commotion outside, house owner Alim Uddin, a poor farmer, and his family members woke up and came out only to find out that the UNO, his friends and others were trying to save his house from a fire with water brought from nearby places, said Rafiqul Islam, chairman of Pogla union parishad, quoting locals.
The fire was extinguished several hours later, he said, adding that there could be a huge damage to property, and lives of the 12 residents of the houses would be in danger unless the fire was put out at the right time.
Speaking with this correspondent later, UNO Zakir Hossain, who has a degree in Industrial and Production Engineering from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, said the firefighting training he had received at a previous job with a private firm helped him take the right decision at the right time.
While Alim Uddin thanked everyone, especially Zakir Hossain, for saving their lives as well as his house, Zakir said, “I'm really happy that I could do something helpful for people.”