POPULAR Durban entertainment couple Shika Budhoo and Dhaveshan Govender narrowly escaped a fire that ravaged their Glenwood residence on Sunday afternoon.

The actors had been away on location shooting for their new film ‘Hindrance’ when they returned home for a break.

Govender said he was unpacking props and costumes while Budhoo was taking a nap when he smelt smoke and noticed a bench on the balcony was on fire. "I attempted to douse the flames, but without success... I woke Shika, wrapped her in a blanket and pushed her out the front door. I re-entered the flat to try and contain the fire and free our beloved hamster, as well as to save our laptops, which hold years of creative work, but the fire had spread rapidly throughout the flat. Our neighbours rushed to help, but our attempts to contain the blaze were in vain.”

The fire, the cause of which is unknown, destroyed their apartment and caused damage to neighbouring flats, but was quickly extinguished by the eThekwini Municipality Fire Department.

While the couple are grateful to escape without serious injury, they are devastated to have lost their home and everything they own.

A bank account has been set up by friends to assist the beleaguered couple, who are much loved for their portrayals in the hit radio soapie Lollipop Lane, and on stage in productions including King of Old Trafford, Shika-Land! and The Fantastical Flea Circus.

Those who wish to assist can email [email protected] for banking details. - Tonight Reporter