The family affected by the blaze. Picture: Monique Duval
Cape Town - A Brooklyn family of 22 have been left homeless after their home went up in flames on Boxing Day.

The devastated parents say they were forced to break windows to help their children escape the blaze after waking up to thick smoke and screams for help shortly after 6 am.

Anton Massing, 34, says a total of 12 adults and 10 children as young as a year-old were caught in the flames.

“I was lying here in the lounge and when I woke up, I just saw flames. I shouted there was fire and everyone ran to get out,” he says.

“We grabbed the children, broke windows and just scrambled to get out. Luckily nobody was hurt.

“There are five bedrooms in the house and a separate entrance and a Wendy house at the back that were not affected by the fire.”

Father Gavin Lawson, 29, says as he forced his bedroom window open to get his children out, a wall collapsed on his back, but he managed to get up and escape.

Anton Massing, 34, in his family's wrecked home. Picture: Monique Duval


“I was worried about getting them out and then, as I was trying to get out, the wall fell over. I am OK now.”

Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Theo Layne, says they responded to the call for help at 6.15am.

“Two fire engines, one rescue vehicle and one water tanker were despatched and the fire was extinguished after about an hour. There were no injuries and fatalities but the house was badly damaged and deemed unsafe for occupation,” he says.

Gavin says the family has now been split up and are being put up by relatives.

“Some of us have managed to find a place to stay by other family, but six of them are staying at the back because they have nowhere else to go,” he says.

“The inspector said the house is not safe and the entire roof is gone and the walls are damaged. The community has donated clothes, but we are struggling with food for the children and toiletries.”

Anyone who would like to assist can call 084 081 6996.

Daily Voice