From the news desk

A fire rips through a home at the weekend in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, leaving a man deceased

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By Kouthar Sambo

A fire ripped through a home at the weekend in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, leaving a man deceased.

Speaking to VOC News, the Fire and Rescue Services Spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said the fire crew received a call of a home ablaze around 10pm. Crews from Belhar, Mfuleni, and Landsdowne were on the scene, attending to the situation.

According to Carelse, firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze that destroyed a formal and informal dwelling, leaving 11 persons displaced.
“One person sustained fatal burn wounds and was declared deceased by medical personnel. The cause of the fire is unknown, pending an investigation from the South African Police Service (SAPS),” confirmed Carelse.

Meanwhile, the wife of the deceased person who tried to help the affected families, Wilhelmina Harris, said it is a trying time for her family.

“The homeowner’s mother was celebrating her birthday at the time when the fire started, and I lent a hand to assist with preparations. The daughter then came running out, telling us the house was burning. I then ran inside to immediately save their 64-year-old mother and the grandchildren,” explained Harris during an interview on VOC’s News Beat show on Tuesday.

“I had no idea my husband was still inside the blazing home at the time. I then began looking for my husband, but he was nowhere to be found. I then asked the police officials, and they confirmed there was no deceased body inside.”

“However, the Fire and Rescue Services then confirmed that a body, which is my husband, was inside the house,” detailed Harris.

Harris said she was in denial when her husband’s body was carried out of the home and that everything was unreal to her.

“I recognized his clothing that was burned off because he wore those clothes the morning after he showered.”

“I cried continuously and barely slept throughout the night. I still couldn’t believe it was my husband because my last words to him were telling him not to go inside because of the fire. He was a hero because he wanted to save the family inside,” said an emotional Harris.

She added that the family is currently in distress as they are struggling to give her husband an honourable burial.

“We require DNA monies of R1800 that we don’t have, and now we found out his policy collapsed, so we are stressing about his funeral as well,” declared Harris.

Furthermore, the owner of the perished house, Clinton Hendricks, is currently in ICU, however, his sister, Layla Jumat, said they were celebrating their mother’s 64th birthday when the house was alight.

“Things could have been worse, so I say Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to God) as none of my family members passed away. Our clothes and food have been burned and we need shelter,” said Jumat.

Should anyone wish to contribute generously, you may do so by contacting Layla Jumat on 074 060 8061.
Those who wish to assist with burial contributions may do so by contacting Wilhelmina Harris on 078 245 1751.

Photo: Supplied

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