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Knysna, Western Cape - A man has been arrested after he allegedly set his house alight, killing his wife who was inside.

A 14-year-old girl also in the house at the time escaped.

The 61-year-old suspect will appear in the Knysna Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The incident happened in Sedgefield on Monday just after midnight.

The man fled the scene but was found by a resident in Kingfisher Street in Sedgefield on Tuesday, according to police spokeswoman Bernadine Steyn.

“The suspect locked his 65-year-old wife, Hester Salmans, and a 14-year-old girl, inside their house in Sedgefield. The suspect allegedly set the house alight and fled the scene,” Steyn said.

She said the girl escaped and went to get help.

“The 14-year-old girl managed to escape through the burglar bars in one of the windows and fled to the neighbour’s house for assistance. When the neighbours arrived on the scene the house was already burnt to the ground,” Steyn said.

She could not confirm the relationship the girl had to the elderly couple.

Knysna municipal manager Lauren Waring confirmed the incident and said the fire department had responded to a fire at a house in the Sizamile/Smutsville area.

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Cape Argus