Cape Town - Twin baby boys, aged nine months, perished in a shack fire in Delft South, on Sunday night.
According to reports, the babies were left alone while sleeping, by their parents, and a candle was left alight, as there was no electricity. The fire started just after 9pm at Stamperhout Street, and it quickly consumed the whole shack, before neighbours could take any action.
“The shack is behind my house and they are my backyarders. Electricity was out and they left a candle on. By the time we realised there is a fire, it was too late,” said Mangaliso Tsotso.
Councillor Dineo Masiu lives on the same street where the fire took place.
“We are shocked at what happened. Such young babies to die like that. There is not much I can say, as the matter is still under investigation, but I can say there was no electricity and a candle was left on in that house,” said Masiu.
In April this year, in the same area, a family of four, including six-month-old twins, died when their house burnt down. The Weekend Argus has been reporting about the blackouts in the area, which force people to use candles for light. City’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said they received an emergency call at about 9.07pm and, when they arrived at Stamperhout Street, Belhar, firefighters found a backyard dwelling on fire.
“They (firefighters) managed to extinguish the blaze by 10.07pm. The bodies of the babies, who Fire Service medics declared deceased, were found underneath the debris. The scene was handed over to the SAPS and the cause of the fire is unknown,” said Carelse.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said that an inquest has been opened by Delft police.
“When the fire was extinguished, the lifeless bodies of two babies, aged nine months old, that succumbed due to their injuries, were discovered on the scene. It is unknown what caused the fire. The investigation continues,” said Swartbooi.