A family of seven died on Thursday after a fire engulfed their home at Willowvale in the Eastern Cape. Photo: Supplied.

PORT ELIZABETH - Seven family members have died after a fire engulfed their home in Willovale in the Eastern Cape.  

Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga expressed shock after the incident in one of the seven was burnt beyond recognition, after their house burnt to the ground during the early hours of Thursday morning. 

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said police responded to a call at around 4am after a house caught alight at Mnqayi locality, Ciko Village, in Willowvale. 

Kinana said that preliminary investigations indicated that a 56-year-old mother, her children, including her 28-year-old daughter and five other younger siblings, aged between three and 14 including a set of twins, were sleeping when a fire broke out. 

Kinana said two men who had been sleeping in a house nearby heard screams from the house. 

"As they went to investigate, they discovered that the house was burning. None of the people could be rescued at the time."

Ntshinga described the incident as tragic and called on all stakeholders to consider lending a hand to the family. Police have registered an inquest docket for investigation into the circumstances that led to the fire. 

The identities of the deceased are being withheld until all their relatives have been officially informed. Police are appealing to anyone who may have information on the incident, to make contact with the Willowvale Police Station. 

African News Agency (ANA)