Two teenagers die in Mooi River fire, Hilton family watch as house burns down

2011-08-22 00:00

TWO families were devastated by house fires at the weekend. Two teenagers died in Mooi River and a Hilton family lost everything they own.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that two teenagers, aged 16 and 17, died when a house caught fire in Bruntville early on Saturday morning.

Zwane said an inquest docket has been opened and a full report will be made available to the media today.

In Dennis Shepstone Drive, Winterskloof, Thabani Ngwira, the Independent Electoral Commission’s KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson, and his family watched their large thatched house go up in flames on Friday night. They have nothing but what they were wearing; for the children, only pyjamas.

Neighbours told The Witness that when they called the Msunduzi Municipality fire department for help, they were referred to the fire department in Howick as Ngwira’s home falls under the uMgungundlovu District , not Msunduzi.

One of the neighbours, Kevin George, said, “We were told that due to protocols they [Msunduzi Municipality] could not attend to the matter.

“Had they come here on time to help, half of the building would have been saved.”

He said the Msunduzi fire department is closer than the one at Howick.

A distraught Ngwira said that the protocol does not make sense to him. “My home was on fire. They [Msunduzi Municipality] had to come here on time and help.”

When Ngwira came back from work, he found his wife, Ntombikayise, and their children sitting in their lounge. [She] kept on saying that she could smell smoke. Minutes later ash fell on the ground and that’s when we knew that the house was on fire.

“I went upstairs and there was a lot of smoke and I could not see where the fire was coming from,” he said.

The family tried to put out the flames but failed.

They had moved into the large house in June.

Friends and colleagues arrived yesterday to provide the family with food, clothing and comfort.

“Laddsworth Primary School came in for assistance and promised to provide the children with school uniforms,” said Ntombikayise.

The Ngwira family are staying with friends in Cleland.

“We cannot stay there forever. We will have to find our own accommodation. Is this the way that we should be celebrating our wedding anniversary?” she asked.

The couple’s anniversary is on August 31. Their marriage certificate was burnt their children’s birth certificates.

Msunduzi fire department chief Billy Paton said, “The Howick fire department was dispatched. Three units from Pietermaritzurg and Ashburton were also dispatched to assist.

“This [Dennis Shepstone Drive] is not our area of jurisdiction but that of uMgungundlovu Municipality.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.