Israeli Olympic sailor, coach rescue elderly woman from fire in Marseille

Shai Kakon and her coach Fabrizio Lazzarini were staying at an apartment complex in Marseille when an elderly woman knocked on their door telling them her apartment was on fire

Israeli Olympic sailor Shai Kakon narrowly escaped a fire that broke out in her residential complex in Marseille last week, after she rescued her neighbor, an elderly woman whose home was the source of the blaze. Kakon was in her apartment with her coach, Fabrizio Lazzarini, who suffered from smoke inhalation and was evacuated to the hospital.
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שריפה שי קקון
שריפה שי קקון
The fire at the apartment complex
(Photo: Israel Sailing Association)
"At first, we didn't notice anything unusual," Kakon recounted. "I was in the apartment in Marseille with Fabrizio and Louise, who trains with me, when there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, a black cloud of smoke came in, filling the entire hallway, and the neighbor said there was a fire in her home. We immediately went out with the woman, but she probably took us back to her apartment in her confusion instead of going outside the complex. By then, we couldn't see anything because of the smoke."
"It was too late to go out into the hallway," Kakon continued. "We felt like we were starting to choke, so we just pulled the neighbor back with us to our apartment. We went out to the balcony because it was the only place we could breathe, called the fire department, and waited for them to come and rescue us."
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שי קקון
שי קקון
Shai Kakon
(Photo: Sailing Energy)
Local fire forces arrived quickly, and the three were evacuated to the nearest hospital, where Lazzarini stayed for observation due to smoke inhalation. He was released the next day. Kakon's elderly neighbor is still hospitalized.
Kakon, who will compete in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in the ILCA6 class, is currently living in Marseille as part of her training for the Olympics. She will start in the Coach Regatta on Sunday, one of the preparation competitions for the games.
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