Cape Town - A heroic Hanover Park father risked life and limb to save his nine-year-old daughter as their home went up in flames on Monday.
Dad Aslam Conlan, 40, and his daughter Ashura are recovering in hospital after suffering serious burns to the face, chest and arms.
The fire, which broke out at the next door neighbour’s home in Lansman Walk, spread quickly and gutted two council homes and several backyard dwellings.
Grandmother Johanna Lawerlot, 67, says the fire started in the backyard of her home during the early hours of Monday morning.
“We were all sleeping and then my son started screaming. He sleeps in a Wendy house at the back with his girlfriend, and when he woke up, the flames were on top of him and we all started running,” the granny explains.
She says the family of 17 rushed to save the six children who live on the property, leaving behind all their valuables.
Next door, Aslam’s family had a tougher time escaping the blaze which spread quickly to a backyard dwelling on their property.
Aslam’s mother-in-law, Nawaal Jacobs, says they are very worried about their relatives in hospital.
“The fire mos started next door and spread to us. There are five adults and four children living here and we all rushed to get out,” she says.
“Ashura was sleeping at the back with her sister and he went back to get her. As he reached to pick her up, she put her arms out and the flames got them both.
“They are both badly burnt and are at the hospital. They told us she was taken to Red Cross and may have to get skin grafts. We are worried but happy everyone is alive.”
Nawaal says City officials visited her on Monday and they were informed that they would be housed in containers while repair work is done.
The Lawerlot family believe a broken electric cable fell on the son’s Wendy house and started the fire.
Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Theo Layne, says the cause of the blaze is undetermined at this stage.
He says firefighters were called out just after 1am and the blaze was extinguished by 3am.
If you would like to assist the families with donations, call Nawaal on 074 123 3838.