Couple burn to death in shack

2012-02-28 00:00

A TOPPLED candle led to the death of an elderly couple in a shack fire in the Mpophomeni informal settlement on Saturday night.

The shack of Joseph Zuma (63) and Dumazile Tshabalala (60) burned down after a burning candle fell over and set fire to a carpet.

Police spokesperson Captain Lolly Moodley said investigations were ongoing and that the suspected cause of the fire was a candle.

Moodley said: “Emergency personnel responded to the emergency call at midnight on Saturday and found the couple dead on the scene.

“No foul play is suspected at the moment.”

Firefighters doused the blaze soon after the emergency call.

The director of the NGO

Children of Fire, Bronwen Jones, said such fires were far more frequent than people

realised.

She said: “A significant portion of these fires is down to poor safety education.

“People living in hostile environments lock the doors of their shacks with padlocks … and then there is no escape route when an emergency situation arises.”

Jones said there was a big drive to run educational programmes in rural communities.

“We have gone into the communities to run workshops.

“We have also given educational videos to fire departments and even petitioned with the SABC to run our adverts.

“We want to eradicate this.”

• jonathan.faurie@witness.co.za

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