Fire destroys houses

2015-05-07 06:00
Pinki Maqungo, 53, the owner of house number 23, is appealing for help after her house was damaged by fire, in Langa, recently.


Mbongiseni MASEKO

Pinki Maqungo, 53, the owner of house number 23, is appealing for help after her house was damaged by fire, in Langa, recently. PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

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Three Langa houses were destroyed after a fire allegedly caused by a six year old child who was playing with a box of matches, razed through the block.

Jabavu Street was the scene of what onlookers called ‘an inferno’, when the fore broke out, leaving families with only the clothes on their backs.

Family members of houses number 21, 23 and 25, managed to save only few of their belongings as the fire raged, spreading quickly to the other houses.

According to witnesses, the fire allegedly started at house number 21.

Pinki Maqungo, 53, who resides at number 23, said she was away on busnes when the fire started in the afternoon.

Maqungo, who earns her living selling chicken dust (Amanqina), next to the local taxi rank, said she was horrified on receiving a call from her daughter, Layla Maqungo that their house was on fire.

“When I got here, the house was engulfed in smoke. People did not even get the chance to save valuables, which include a new bed, wardrobe, R700 cash and other items.

I was left with only the clothes I was wearing...this is hurting inside, because I have worked very hard towards the house and my belongings,” she shared.

Some residents averted more catastrophe by grabbing a fully filled gas bottle to prevent an explosion.

Maqungo also said the arrival of two fire engines did not help matters.

According to her, they came there with empty water tanks and had to watch haplessly as their homes were destroyed, in the presence of firefighters.

“I had to watch my house burning down, because the trucks were empty. Some water taps on the street which are used by fire-fighters were blocked so they could not be able to use them,” she added.

Maqungo said she had made peace with her neighbours where the fire started.

“I am in good terms with them, because I understand that they did not send the child to start the fires and that no one is working in the family.

“I also share with them what I get from Good Samaritans,” she said.

Tswelo Pienaar, of house number 25, said he was sleeping in one of the two shacks that were destroyed by the flames when the fire started.

“I heard people screaming outside and when I woke up, my shack was covered in smoke, including one occupied by my brother, but fortunately, the fire could not spread to the main house.

The Disaster Risk Management department gave all the affected families materials to build shacks.

City Vision could not get a comment from the family where the fire started.

Maqungo has appealed to anyone who can help the families with clothes and furniture

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