- A severe blaze broke out at the Comfort Hotel Meridien in North Adelaide
- Three men in critical condition are being treated at Royal Adelaide hospital
- Event organiser and music promoter Vish Sharma, one of the critically injured, is being hailed as a 'hero' for going door to door to rescue others inside the hotel
Forty-three-year-old Mr Sharma is one of three critically injured men being treated at Royal Adelaide Hospital after a serious fire broke out at the Comfort Hotel Meridien in North Adelaide on Sunday morning.
Friends of the father of two say he went door-knocking to alert others about the fire before becoming trapped and having to break a window to escape.
Speaking to SBS Punjabi, one of his friends, Daljeet Bakshi, said Mr Sharma 'braved the blaze' to help others before thinking about his own life.
“His swift and timely action helped save lives,” said Mr Bakshi.
“Around 50 firefighters rescued hundreds of people from the hotel. The fire led to the hospitalisation of seven people from the hotel’s third floor with three of them in ICU, and Vish Sharma is one of them.”
Vish Sharma (R) with his friend Daljeet Bakshi (L) during happier times. Source: Supplied by Mr Bakshi
“As he stayed amid the fumes for a long time, his food pipe was severely affected by smoke inhalation.
“His parents are flying from India as the recovery will take a long time,” said Mr Bakshi.
Mr Sharma, who hails from Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab state in India, was one of the organisers of Adelaide’s ‘Desi Mela’ Punjabi music event held on Saturday night and is well known in the community for his hospitality.
“Many people involved in Saturday night's event, including other organisers, promoters and music crew members, including the famous Punjabi singer Sajjan Adeeb, were also in the hotel when the incident happened," said Mr Bakshi.
Talking to SBS Punjabi, another of the show's organisers, Manmohan Singh, said, “We were with [Mr Sharma] him while paramedics were taking this ‘hero’ to hospital.
“One of the guests said that 'we only woke up because this young man banged on our doors',” Mr Singh said.
Show organiser Manmohan Singh and famous Punjabi singer Sajjan Adeeb with Vish Sharma while Mr Sharma is being taken to hospital by paramedics. Source: Supplied by Mr Singh
“I wish him a speedy recovery and can’t wait to see this brave father go back to his children,” he added.
According to the Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS), the fire started accidentally.
Harjit Harman, another popular Punjabi singer who performed in Adelaide on Saturday, praised Mr Sharma's brave conduct on his Facebook page with over one million followers.
"Vish risked his life by running door to door and waking up all the group and crew members, who were then rescued by the fire brigade. Salute and thank you for your bravery," the singer said.
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