A Mitchells Plain father has been charged with culpable homicide following the death of his two children, aged two and 18 months, yesterday.

The baby boy and girl were killed during a fire in Flamingo Crescent, Colorado Park, at about 3.22am. Police are searching for the children’s mother, who the family has not seen since the incident.

The children’s grandfather told the Cape Times his son knocked on his bedroom door at 2am asking for money. He was turned away.

“Around 2.30am my wife heard a funny noise coming from outside and thought there might be people in the yard When I checked through the side window I saw smoke,” he said.

By the time he ran outside to save his grandchildren, the flames rapidly engulfed the shack where the children were. “I don’t know what caused the fire, but the lady who stays here says she saw them making a coal fire and taking it inside the house,” the grandfather said.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said a 30-year-old man was arrested yesterday and was expected to appear in court.