A little bit of the history of the torch that saved lives on New Year’s Eve
A New Year in 2017 saw many fireworks and the end of a long, cold winter.
But one person’s story of hope is another’s tragic loss.
A Torch was brought to the rescue in an emergency in an isolated village in the village of Cilacap, near the Colombian border.
The man was taking photographs of his wife when he was struck by a lightning bolt.
He was transported to a hospital and treated for shock and burns.
The villagers and their neighbours helped to collect his body and bury it in a field.
The Torch was returned to the family in October 2017, a week after it was donated by the local fire department.
The incident inspired a Facebook group, which has since been flooded with requests for information about the man’s family.
“I was not surprised that they took the torch back, it’s not something that I would have wanted, I was hoping that they would take it back with them to the village,” said the man, who did not want to give his name.
But he did want to know what happened to the Torch.
“We want to find out what happened with it, who owns it, where it went and who made it, and if we have to go back to the forest and fight a fire with the torch to protect our homes.”
The Torch is the second-oldest in the world and has been donated to the Red Cross.
Its inventor, the Colombian-born Andres Barroso, was a fireman, mechanic and a firefighter before becoming a torch manufacturer in 1988.
He invented the device in the late 1960s and built it from scratch, before its first use in New Year celebrations in 1990.
“It is a symbol of courage, of love, of hope,” said his son, Andres.
“This is a torch that gives life to others.
It is a life-saving device.”
The man’s wife, the local councilor Maria, also owns the Torch, and the village is now a focal point for donations to the charity.
“The torch is a beautiful symbol, a symbol that people are willing to give, that gives hope to others, to the people of Cillap,” said Maria.
“They have taken this to give back to their people, to their families, to help them through a difficult time.”
“The people of the village want to say thank you, because this is a small miracle, they are very proud of it.”