One of the rooms in the house that was gutted after a fire broke out. Picture: Supplied
One of the rooms in the house that was gutted after a fire broke out. Picture: Supplied

Nellmapius father traumatised after watching children burn to death

By Chelsea Ntuli Time of article published Jul 17, 2020

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Pretoria - A father is mourning the death of his two children and grandchild, who died in a fire in Nellmapius on Monday.

Ephriam Leshike, 59, said there were no words to explain the pain he felt after hearing his children screaming for help while he tried to save them. The fire is believed to have started after a candle fell over.

The elder child, aged 23, was sleeping in the back room with her 3-month-old baby and her 14-year-old sister.

Leshike said they often slept with the candle alight because the baby could not fall asleep in the dark.

“When I heard them scream for me in the middle of the night, I rushed out and tried to break in through the door. The children could not find the keys from the inside due to the smoke, and they could not escape through the window because of the burglar bars.”

He said he called his wife to get the keys for the burglar bars in front of the door, but when he tried to unlock, he could not.

He then tried to get on the roof to remove the metal sheets, but his feet burnt, which caused him to fall to the ground. He said the next thing he remembered waking up in hospital confused, and then doctors gave him medication to calm him down.

“I was traumatised by hearing their voices and watching them burn in the fire. I do not think I will ever recover from this.”

Leshike said the Tshwane Emergency Services arrived after the fire had been put out by neighbours. The forensic technicians were also at the scene.

The fire burned down everything in the room.

Leshike said they were still having talks about the arrangements of the funeral.

“I had dreams for them and had plans for their future. My wife is also in pain and is suffering because of this.”

Pretoria News

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