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Mom dies in house fire with 4 children aged between two weeks and nine years old in southern KZN

Three siblings, ranging from two weeks to four years old and their 35-year-old mother died in a fire that tore through a home in the Umzumbe Local Municipality.

Three siblings, ranging from two weeks to four years old and their 35-year-old mother died in a fire that tore through a home in the Umzumbe Local Municipality.

Published Jun 26, 2022

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Durban — Four children aged between two weeks and nine years old and their mother were killed in a house fire on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday night.

The KZN Department of Social Development said: “Three siblings, ranging from a 2-week-old baby to 9 years old and their 37-year-old mother died in a fire that tore through a home in KwaNhlalwane area under Umzumbe Local Municipality on Saturday night.

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“Initially, four family members were rushed to a nearby clinic to be treated for smoke inhalation and burn wounds before being transported to hospital. A two-year-old child later died.”

The deceased were identified as Zamokuhle, two weeks old, Onge, two years old, Noluthando, nine years old, Anathi, nine years old and mother Bongekile Mthembu, 37.

The department said that at this stage, it is unclear what caused the devastating fire in the homestead.

The department said that neighbours described the incident as traumatic as they felt helpless after battling the blaze in vain. Neighbours and the disaster team worked tirelessly to rescue the surviving family members.

Department of Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza expressed her shock: “It is with a heavy heart that we convey our deepest and most sincere condolences to the Mthembu family for losing so many family members. There are no words that can comfort them at this stage as they are going through such a tough time.”

Detailed information regarding the cause of the fire depended on the police investigation, she said.

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“With the little information that we received from emergency services and neighbours, we are grateful that some family members survived.

“Having noted that family members and some neighbours are in distress, we have dispatched a team of social workers to help them. All these people need psycho-social support and we will stand with them to be able to gain their strength once again,” Khoza said.

The MEC added that it was truly unfortunate and disturbing to lose vulnerable people in such an incident.

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She also praised neighbours for risking their lives in an attempt to save the victims.

“We are thankful to those who came to assist in dousing the fire to ensure some people survived.

“It is very early stages at the moment to know or understand the cause of the fire. It is very difficult for members of the family and our hearts go out to them and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Khoza said.

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