Flames of tragedy

2016-06-14 06:00
The aftermath of a fire that claimed eight lives and left six others with serious injuries in Eastridge on Saturday.            PHOTO: Nasief Manie

The aftermath of a fire that claimed eight lives and left six others with serious injuries in Eastridge on Saturday. PHOTO: Nasief Manie

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Eight people have tragically lost their lives in a house fire that engulfed an Eastridge home on the weekend.

On Saturday at 08:15 Mitchell’s Plain police were called out to the scene of a fire in MacBeth Street.

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

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

Three children – a 3-year-old girl and two 13-year-old boys – were declared dead on the arrival of emergency services personnel.

The bodies of four more people were later removed from the house.

Four more people were taken to hospital in a critical condition.

An 18-year-old man passed away on his way to hospital.

A total of 14 people were in the house when the fire started and six children and two adults – aged between 18 months and 35 years old – perished in the fire.

“After investigation by forensic fire experts, it was confirmed the fire started due to an electrical fault and no foul play has been committed,” says Williams.

Mayor Patricia de Lille issued a statement on Sunday expressing her heartfelt condolences to the family.

“It is with overwhelming sorrow that we have learnt about the tragedy which has befallen the family of Patrick Abrahams of Eastridge. A fire led to the death of three of his children, his three grandchildren, his son-in-law and a family friend,” says De Lille.

“We know nothing can ease their pain in the midst of this heartbreak, but we are attempting to assist this family in an effort to ease some of the strain.”

The City of Cape Town’s disaster response team will be assisting the family with food parcels, blankets, clothing, vanity packs and building material.

“Our thoughts are with Abrahams and his family during this time of immeasurable loss. We also carry the four family members who are still in hospital in our thoughts and wish them a swift recovery. It is my hope that the Abrahams family will find strength and comfort from their loved ones and all fellow Capetonians, during this time of bereavement,” she says.

Brigadier Cass Goolam, Mitchell’s Plain police station commander also held a memorial service for the family yesterday (Monday) at Imperial Primary School.

V See the People’s Post Facebook page for more pictures.

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