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Bo-Kaap families’ fire drama

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IOL fire nov 26

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Cape Town - Two Bo-Kaap families have lost their homes in fires that broke out on successive days.

All that is left of the Burns’ home, where the family had lived for 18 years, is rubble.

Aqeel Burns, 25, recalls waking up to smoke and flames at about 6.30am on Thursday.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I had to get everyone out of the house, especially the kids.”

Attempts by the family and neighbours to put out the fire proved fruitless, as by then it had consumed a large part of the house.

The family does not know what caused the fire, as everyone in the house was asleep when it started.

On Wednesday afternoon, members of the Samuels household escaped with minor injuries after a fire tore through their home on Van der Meulen Street.

Tasneem Samuels said they were sitting in the lounge about 2pm when her five-year-old nephew ran into the house, shouting that it was burning.

Her blind sister Rushaan Ockards, who was asleep in a bunk bed in the burning bedroom, was pulled out of the room. She was taken to Somerset Hospital with burns to her arm and back.

“We aren’t sure what started the fire, but my nephew said he was playing with matches a while before the fire started,” said Samuels.

Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Theo Layne said the causes of the fires had yet to be determined.

Cape Argus


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