From the news desk

Call to assist Lotus River fire victims

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A man and a 7 month old baby have died after a blaze gutted a house in Lotus River in the early hours of Monday morning.  Neighbours woke up to the house engulfed in flames just before 4am, with the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services quickly on the scene.

Four people were injured – two males and two females, one of whom sustained second degree burn wounds. Police have opened an inquest case docket into the incident.

“The circumstances are being investigated and the cause of the fire is yet to be determined,” said police spokesperson Col Andre Traut.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre said it finalised its assessment on Monday morning and has activated the South African Red Cross Society to provide humanitarian relief to the 26 people who have been displaced by the fire.

Neighbours are rallying to assist the families affected, most of them said to be Malawian.  Resident Gouwa Jacobs said there were about 10 families who lived in the house, some individuals who lived there simply because they had no other place to stay.

“This morning we immediately took bread and juices to them as they stood outside watching the house burn down. I also approached our shaykh to get other residents to donate some goods.”

Jacobs said humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers is also assisting the family with relief aid. One of the urgent needs is nappies and clothing for the babies and children.

“One of the mothers was standing with her baby with just a nappy, no clothing or shoes. We have opened our cupboards to give them what they can. We also want to buy a schoolbag for one of the girls as it is her first year at school next year, Insha-Allah and all her stationary has burnt out.”

Anyone who would like to donate can contact Uthmaan 063 337 8108. VOC

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