Siti Fatimah receives the model worker award from Eric Chu Li-lun, the mayor of New Taipei. Photo:

An Indonesian domestic caregiver won an award in New Taipei City on Wednesday for being a model foreign worker after saving her 99-year-old employer from a fire four years ago.

Siti Fatimah, who came to Taiwan in 2012, was hired by a family in the capital city to care for an elderly woman who is wheelchair-bound and had been diagnosed with dementia, The Liberty Times reported.

Four years ago, the maid was woken by smoke coming from a fire in the neighboring unit at about midnight. Siti got up and carried the elderly woman on her back as they made their way downstairs from the fifth floor to the ground floor.

As she made an escape with her employer, Siti, fearing that other residents could still be asleep, shouted out loud to alert them to the danger. She was highly praised for her heroic behavior, which helped ensure there were no casualties from the blaze.

Over the years of her care, the elderly woman, who initially refused to go out because of her disability, has become more active and outgoing again – she would look forward to going for a stroll in the park or to the market with Siti.

The employer and Siti both regarded each other as family, and they have developed bonds stronger than a genuine grandma and grand-daughter.

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