SA boy dies in UK after ‘human fireball’

2011-09-22 07:41

Cape Town – A South African boy has reportedly died in a UK hospital after a fire at his family’s home, believed to have been started by his mother’s ex-boyfriend.

Shaun Van Straaten (15) was critically injured in the blaze and was rushed to hospital for treatment to burns and smoke inhalation, along with his mother, Tracy Jones (40), sister Cailin (18), and 4-year-old brother, Zak, The Cape Argus reported.

Shaun and his sister Cailin were born in Joburg but raised in the UK after Tracy divorced their father 13 years ago.

UK police confirmed Shaun’s death yesterday, while his mother and siblings remain in a critical condition in hospital, the Daily Mail said.

His mother’s ex-boyfriend, David Potts (39), died after apparently setting himself on fire inside Jones’ house.

Potts and Jones’s relationship was apparently “stormy” and police had reportedly been called to the house on several occasions.

According to a Cape Argus report, Potts turned up at the house in the early hours of Monday morning and he and Tracy were believed to have been talking in the living room when he is said to have set himself alight.

Neighbours said they had woken to screaming and the sound of smashing glass.

Cailin managed to stagger out of the house by herself. A neighbour broke into the burning property and dragged Jones and Shaun to safety.

Fire crews grabbed Zak from an upstairs bedroom and got him outside. All were taken to hospital.

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