Candles of remembrance

2016-06-21 06:00
Friends and family of the eight people who lost their lives in the Eastridge fire lit 14 candles in honour of them and the survivors at a memorial service hosted by police at Imperial Primary school on Monday 13 June.  PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Friends and family of the eight people who lost their lives in the Eastridge fire lit 14 candles in honour of them and the survivors at a memorial service hosted by police at Imperial Primary school on Monday 13 June. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

It was a somber day as hundreds of people gathered to mourn the loss of eight people who died in Eastridge a little over a week ago.

On Monday 13 June Mitchell’s Plain police held the first of several memorial services for the six children and two adults who died in a house fire after 08:00 on Saturday 11 June.

Tamia Swartz (18 months), Nikita Abrahams (3), Elmarie Fredericks (6), Cameron Fredericks (7), Joshua Abrahams (13), Mohammed Arafat Madat (14), Kyle Abrahams (18) and Alfonzo Swartz (33) died in the blaze.

On Saturday 11 June at 08:15 Mitchell’s Plain police were called out to the scene of a fire in MacBeth Street, (“Flames of tragedy”, People’s Post, 14 June).

According to reports, occupants staying in a Wendy house on the premises were alerted to the smoke coming from the main house after the electricity tripped in their Wendy house, says police spokesperson Captain Ian Williams.

“They allegedly then knocked on the door to alert the sleeping occupants inside and saw that smoke was already coming from the house,” says Williams.

Captain Harry Brickles says they were shocked to hear the news.

“A dark cloud is hanging over Mitchell’s Plain after this uncalled for incident. But nothing happens if it’s not in the plan of God. God wanted to bring Mitchell’s Plain together,” he says.

Station commander Brigadier Cass Goolam communicated his support to the family.

Several other departments also attended the event and Shoprite regional manager Ivan Henry donated food parcels to the survivors.

Since the incident all four of the survivors have been released from hospital.

In the days that followed the tragedy, a second memorial service was held at the Portland’s Indoor Centre ahead of the funerals.

The local community police forum (CPF) also set up a fund through Ethel’s Place.

CPF chairperson Abbie Isaacs says they were compelled to help as those affected were part of their main focus pillars.

“We agreed this kind of service was needed. This is not about politics, but to send out condolences to the families affected by the tragedy,” he says.

Solomon Philander, ward councillor for Westridge, says it was a sad day for him too.

“As a social worker myself it was the first time I experienced such a tragedy. There are many negative tags associated with Eastridge, but I am glad to see there is unity at a time like this, where we can come together and feel the pain of this family as a community,” he says.

There has been a surge of support for the family with a page being created on Facebook, a parkoff organised at Westgate Mall on Sunday 19 June and a fundraiser at the Premium Sports Bar in Westridge.

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.