Three children die in Langa, Gugulethu fires
Cape Town - Three children died in fires at their homes early on Tuesday in Gugulethu and Langa.
The City’s fire and rescue service spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said the rescue services received an emergency call at 3.35am and Gugulethu fire crews were dispatched to the scene in Skweza Street where an informal structure was on fire.
“Bystanders told the officer in charge that there were children missing. A search led to the discovery of the 2-year-old girl’s body among the debris while the other two children were found by the neighbours,” he said.
He said the fire was extinguished by 4.20am and the police then took over the investigation.
Meanwhile, a faulty electrical plug is believed to be the cause of the fire that killed 1-year-old Kamohelo Nhlapo and 13-year-old Amahle Dantjies in Langa. Their mother is in a coma in hospital.
Carelse said the fire services received a call at 10.38pm on Monday evening that a formal dwelling was on fire in Zone 12, Langa, Epping and Goodwood fire crews were dispatched.
“It was a semi-detached dwelling, one part was severely affected by the fire and the second was slightly damaged. Five people were taken to hospital prior to the arrival of the fire and rescue service. The fire was extinguished soon after,” Carelse said.
According to a neighbour, Chief Erick Galada, the fire started in the lounge when the sofa caught fire and it spread throughout the house, damaging the dividing wall.
“We were alerted to the fire after we heard screams coming from the house.
“By then the smoke had started coming out of the windows.
“The father of the kids had gone out to get a napkin for the young one while his wife was still asleep with the 1-year-old as she had just come back from work. The 13-year-old was sleeping in a separate room,” Galada said.
He said he did not remove the children as he thought he could extinguish the fire first.
However the flames were already 2m high and was spreading to other rooms, he said.
Galada said the children were taken to hospital where they were declared dead 30 minutes later.
Their mother was sent to ICU, still unconscious. Galada said they were in talks with the City’s disaster management to help the family with a temporary structure.