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Mother devastated after losing 3 children in fire that gutted home

The bodies of the three children were discovered in one of the informal structures in Wedbank. Picture: ANA Archives

The bodies of the three children were discovered in one of the informal structures in Wedbank. Picture: ANA Archives

Published Jul 4, 2022

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Cape Town- A Wesbank mother has been left devastated after losing her three children in a fire that engulfed their home on Saturday morning.

Lentonita Mckwena, who lost her children Leana, 9, Luciano, 4 and the youngest Bruce, just days away from his first birthday, said they tried but could not save her children.

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“We tried to save everybody but we couldn’t. My life will never be the same, my life will never be the same without my babies. Bruce was going to turn one year old on Friday; it was going to be his birthday.

“I can’t tell you how I feel. I am trying to cope but I can’t,” said the emotional mother.

City Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said they were alerted at 2.15am that there was a home on fire in Baxley Crescent.

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When they arrived on the scene, firefighters found several structures burning.

The bodies of the three children were discovered in one of the informal structures during the operations.

“Several informal structures were completely destroyed and two formal houses were damaged. The scene was handed over to the SAPS,” said Carelse.

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Ward councillor Ebrahim Sawant said the community was devastated.

“I was called about a fire on Saturday morning. I went there to go and sympathise with the family. A relative had tried to go back in and save the children and got really badly burnt. He is currently in hospital in a critical condition. The mother who lost her three children was inconsolable and many of the fire victims need trauma counselling.

“I wish to convey my gratitude to all the NGOs, individuals as well as the City Disaster Management officials who responded immediately to the needs of the family’s,” he said.

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Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.

“Mfuleni police attended a complained in Marthinus van Schalkwyk Street at around 2am. Upon arrival at the scene, they contacted the Fire Brigade as four houses were on fire. Upon arrival at the scene by fire and rescue, they extinguished the fire. After inspection they discovered the charred bodies of three unknown minors. The victims were declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel. Mfuleni police registered an Inquest for further investigation,” he said.

Police have requested anyone with information that can assist with the investigation to call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Cape Times

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