Home alone tot dies in shack fire

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IOL news apr 18  ca p6 shack fire done

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Photo: Cindy Waxa

A three-year-old boy, who was at home by himself, died in a shack fire in Khayelitsha’s RR Section on Monday night despite desperate attempts by neighbours to save him.

Police said they did not suspect foul play, but confirmed the child had been left alone by his parents.

Three-year-old Milani Siyaya burned to death in a fire that gutted two shacks.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander said on Tuesday the parents were not arrested but were taken from the scene for trauma counselling and to give statements.

“It’s suspected that a paraffin-lamp could have been the cause of the fire,” Filander said.

On Tuesday, neighbour Mpho Motsobotsi, 29, told the Cape Argus he was woken by the sound of a crying baby and the crackling sound of burning wood about 10pm on Monday.

He saw his neighbour’s home was burning.

Motsobotsi said he tried to save the child but the door was locked.

“I kicked the door three times to try and get inside. By the time I made it in the child had grown quiet and there was smoke and fire in the whole place. I couldn’t see anything,” he said.

Along with his neighbours, Motsobotsi grabbed buckets of water to put out the fire and during the commotion his own shack also caught fire. His girlfriend, Vuyokazi Phoki, 26, and their two young children managed to escape the fire, but their possessions were destroyed

Motsobotsi and his neighbours said this was the third fire in RR Section this year but that this had been the first time that someone had died. - Cape Argus

neo.maditla@inl.co.za


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