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Inferno leaves family destitute

Published Jul 25, 2012

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Durban - An Isipingo family are reeling after a fire raged through their home, leaving them destitute.

Salim Rooplal’s Lotus Park home was burnt to ashes after their prepaid power meter exploded.

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Rooplal’s wife, Vijenti, managed to rush her six children, aged between five and 17, to safety and could only look on as all their possessions were ravaged in the fire.

“We lost everything we had. We only managed to get out with the clothes we had on. I can’t explain what we are going through. We had to stand and watch everything we worked for go up in smoke,” said Rooplal.

He added his family had to now split up.

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“My eldest son sleeps in our car, another stays at a friend’s home and the rest of the children stay with my wife and I at my mother-in-law’s home. There’s nothing else we can do because we have nothing. We hope and pray we can get some relief from the municipality.”

Beaver Shunmugam, chairperson of Isipingo Sport Against Crime, said they were working with the area councillor to try to find a solution.

“One of the children, who is displaced by this fire, belongs to our programme and we felt it is our civic duty to try and assist,” said Shunmugam.

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Isipingo councillor Soonil Kalicharan said he was looking at several options for temporary housing for the Rooplal family.

“All council homes are insured so their home will be repaired. I have had talks with the municipality’s housing department and we are looking at various alternatives. We are working hard to ensure that relocation or alternate housing can take place as soon as possible,” said Kalicharan.

Meanwhile, Rooplal praised the efforts of the community in assisting his family.

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“The community has stood by us and assisted in many ways and I wish to thank them. We are desperate though. We need a shelter as soon as possible. We can’t live like this for much longer.

“Our children are in school and it is difficult living in these conditions. We hope and pray someone will assist us urgently.” - POST

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