Four more die after fire

2010-08-03 12:55

Four more people have died as a result of a fire at a Nigel old age

home, raising the death toll to 22, the Gauteng health department said


Departmental spokesperson Mandla Sidu said: “Three of the deceased

died last night [two at Pholosong Hospital and one at Charlotte Maxeke

Johannesburg Academic Hospital].

This morning, the fourth resident died at

Pholosong Hospital.”

Seventeen people died in the fire, most of them burnt beyond

recognition. DNA testing to identify the remains was set to begin today.

An 18th person died of a suspected heart attack after the


The fire broke out at Pieter Wessels old age home around 9pm on

Sunday leaving over 40 pensioners with injuries.

Eighty-four people were rescued.

The survivors of the blaze are still in shock, a home spokesperson

said today.

Pieter Wessels Frail Care and Community Centre spokesperson Remsie

Visser said: “They are still very shocked, the fact that they lost all their

belongings. All of us are very worried about them because those people are like

our family.”

Sidu said counselling services were being offered to the survivors,

their families and the families of the deceased.

“Some of them, given the events that happened, were very emotional.

That’s why we provided them with counselling for them and their families,” said


Survivors of the fire had been transferred to the Zanele Mbeki Home

and the Nigel old age home, with arrangements being made for further old age


“They definitely need help, I’m not sure Zanele Mbeki has enough

space for them,” said Visser.

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