Children die in fire

2016-05-18 06:00
SHOCKED bystanders outside the main house of a yard in Batho where a one-room apartment burnt down on Tuesday (17/05), killing two children. Photos: Emile Hendricks

SHOCKED bystanders outside the main house of a yard in Batho where a one-room apartment burnt down on Tuesday (17/05), killing two children. Photos: Emile Hendricks

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THE Bloemfontein police in Batho are investigating a case of arson and child neglect after two young children died in an accidental fire on Tuesday (17/05).

The two deceased, a girl aged two and a boy of four years, reportedly died in the flames which also destroyed the one-room apartment located in the backyard of a Batho residence.

Sgt Ikobeng Hlubi, Mangaung police spokesperson, says the two children were burnt beyond recognition.

She says the victims, believed to be siblings, were alone in the one-room apartment when the fire broke out and that their 26-year-old mother was at work when the fatal incident unfolded.

The woman is apparently a tenant.

Hlubi says investigations are underway into what caused the fire, as well as a case of child neglect.

“We are awaiting the result of investigations and also what might have caused the fire that killed the two children,” says Hlubi.

When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they found the victims next to each other on a bed, burnt beyond recognition.

According to bystanders at the scene, the woman apparently left the children alone in the apartment while she went to work.

One angry resident, who wishes to stay anonymous, reacted with dismay.

“I cannot understand how a mother can leave her two young children alone for hours while she is working.

“This is too tragic to imagine. May their souls rest in peace.”

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