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Cape Town - A five-year-old boy burnt to death in his sleep as his father battled bravely to save him and his siblings from a devastating blaze.
Zishoun Lemore was burnt beyond recognition when their home went up in flames on Saturday night.
The Hanover Park boy’s heartbroken father, Kiyaamodien Allen, 23, put his own life at risk to save his young children who were sleeping when the flames erupted.
Zishoun’s sisters Kashiefa Lemore, three, and six-week-old Zeenat Lemore are both lucky to be alive because they were saved in time.
Little Zeenat had burns on 10 percent of her body and is at Red Cross Children’s Hospital where she is expected to undergo surgery.
Doctors say the infant is in a serious but stable condition.
Kashiefa suffered minor burn wounds to her hands.
The hero dad ran into their burning house four times in an attempt to save his son.
Kiyaamodien and his wife Desiree Lemore, 31, believe the fire started when a candle fell over.
“I always told my wife to blow out the candle when she leaves the house,” Kiyaamodien said. “That night I went out and I reminded her about the candle.
“When she came out to go to her parents, I walked with her and she told me the children were all sleeping.
“I walked with her but I didn’t walk back home with her.”
The father says he returned home a while after his wife and found their house on fire.
He said: “Everything was already burning and I just stormed into the house. My wife was already standing outside with the baby.
“I couldn’t see anything when I went inside and I could not care about the flames or myself, I just wanted to save my children.
“As I ran out, I saw Kashiefa sitting on the floor, burning. She shouted, ‘Dada! Dada!’ as she pulled on my pants.
“Her clothes were burning and part of her shoulder and both her arms.”
After saving his little daughter, Kiyaamodien ran into the house two more times to find his son.
“I asked her [my wife] where is Balla [Zishoun] and she said he is still inside,” the dad said.
“I ran in but I couldn’t see him so I came out again. Then I ran in and out again, then a friend and I started breaking down the Wendy [house].
“As we were busy, I saw Zishoun on the bed still laying in the same position as he was sleeping in.”
Kiyaamodien explains his son was lying in a foetal position with his hands under his head.
He just lay there and he was burnt pitch black, the devastated dad said.
With both his hands covered in blisters and his right arm bandaged, Kiyaamodien says he watched his son’s charred corpse lay among the rubble from a window.
“I stood by the bathroom window [of the main house] and I showed my grandmother where he was laying,” he said, holding back the tears. “He did not even wake up.”
Mom Desiree, who also suffered minor wounds, did not want to speak to the Daily Voice.
On Wednesday, the family was still cleaning up the huge heap of rubble laying in their backyard.
Some remains of their home were dumped outside.
Police have opened an inquest docket and say the matter is still under investigation.