Family stranded after fire guts home

2008-06-02 00:00

MEMBERS of a large Imbali family had to seek shelter in a community hall after their home burned down on Saturday morning.

The Ntuli family are staying at the Imbali Community hall in Stage One as their house in Unit 3 was completely gutted.

Owner Nelly Ntuli (39) said the roof of the seven-room house might collapse.

Ntuli said that even though she had a gas cylinder, which they used for cooking, in the house, she doubts it caused the fire, because it was switched off and the fire seemed to have started in the lounge.

Ntuli said that she was in the kitchen when she heard a noise that sounded like breaking glass in the lounge. Her grandmother, Alexina Ntuli (84), was in one of the bedrooms.

“I went to investigate the noise, only to see a big fire. Within a few minutes it was all over the house. Neighbours tried to help, but the flames were too huge.

Her grandmother manage to escape.

It took two fire engines to extinguish the blaze.

The family survive on Alexina’s old age grant, but all her documents were destroyed and they don’t know how she will claim it next month.

uMgungundlovu deputy mayor Tu Zondi said that the council’s disaster management donated blankets and food parcels to the family.

“When I came to see them at the hall, they only had oranges to eat. We have to find building material to repair the damage, and also get them clothes because they were only left with what they were wearing,” said Zondi.

She said the children’s school uniforms and books were also destroyed.

Zondi appealed to anyone willing to donate anything to help the family recover from the calamity to telephone her on 072 664 7242.

bhans@witness.co.za

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