Two young cousins perish in house fire
Johannesburg - Two cousins aged 7 and 8 died when the bedroom they were sleeping in caught fire.
The girls were left in the care of their uncle who was visiting neighbours at the time.
He rushed home as soon as he was notified about the fire. Efforts to extinguish it were in vain and both girls died.
An inquest docket has been opened.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said the incident happened on Friday at Masoyi near White River.
He said the information they were given indicated that the cousins were asleep in the house at Jerusalem while their parents were away.
Their uncle, who stays in the same house, was visiting neighbours at the time.
Mdhluli said a neighbour told the uncle that a spotlight at the house, where the children were asleep, was off.
“He then went to investigate and on his arrival, he realised that the bedroom where the girls were was on fire. He then called other neighbours to assist in extinguishing the fire.
“However the flames were too intense and the girls unfortunately perished in the fire.”
Mdhluli said they were informed about the matter and upon arrival, both girls were certified dead. Police opened an inquest case to probe the circumstances that led to the incident, he said.
“Police management in the province has urged members of the public, specifically parents, to take care of their children and ensure that they are under supervision at all times.”
Mdhlui said a similar incident occurred in the same area last month when a 38-year-old woman and her seven-year-old son burnt to death in a house fire.
“It is said that the woman's husband informed police that he left the victims on Friday, March 5, and went to his friends.
“Upon his return to his family, he reportedly noticed smoke coming from the house. He then broke the door to gain entry and found his wife and child motionless on the floor. Police and paramedics were summoned to the house where the victims were certified dead.”