Durban - A LITTLE girl from Lenasia will not celebrate her 6th birthday.
Aafreen Soosiwala died of smoke inhalation in a fire at her home in Albatross Street on Monday morning.
The fire is believed to have started on the top floor of the double-storey home.
Before the emergency services arrived, neighbours tried to extinguish the flames.
Aafreen was allegedly locked in a room.
Rescue personnel and family members had to break the windows to get to her.
Her 12-year-old cousin Fizaah, who was asleep in another room, survived but remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Aafreen’s aunt, who declined to be named, said the children were left in the care of the domestic worker.
She said Aafreen’s mother was at work at the time - selling fruit and vegetables.
The child’s father did not live with them.
The aunt said her cousins, who lived near the family’s home, scaled the wall and broke a window to get to the girls.
She said the domestic worker was not found on the property.
“Everyone is taking this badly. Aafreen just started school and was a bubbly child. I was with her for her birthday a few months ago. She loved the movie Frozen and the character Elsa.”
She said Aafreen’s parents hosted the party and the theme was based on the film. “I remember how she fought with me because I didn’t bring her a present. Now she won’t celebrate her 6th birthday.”
Aafreen was in Grade RR at Was-Salam Nursery School. Fizaah is a Grade 7 pupil at Belaal Combined School.
Aboo Sayed, the spokesperson for the Saaberie Chishty Ambulance Services, said: “These courageous men and many others who were on the scene were devastated to find out that despite their efforts to assist, the little girl died and the older child was seriously injured. We pray that the victim makes a full recovery and God grants the little girl’s family strength during this difficult time.”
Aafreen was buried on Monday. The cause of the fire has not yet been established.
Nana Radebe, from the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services, said fire officers were conducting preliminary investigations.