Baby forgotten as mother flees burning shack

2010-08-05 00:00

A ONE-month-old baby boy was burnt to death when his mother left him behind as she fled from a burning house in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday night.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said Hlengiwe Ngubane, who was sleeping with her son, woke up to find that her house was on fire. She ran out of the house leaving the baby behind.

This happened in Hanivelle informal settlement near Copesville at about 11 pm.

Jeevan said Ngubane returned from a tavern where she had been consuming alcohol. She lit a candle before she fell asleep with the baby next to her.

“A short while later an alert neighbour smelled smoke and immediately rushed to the house, which was engulfed in flames.

“He kicked down the door and in doing so, Ngubane came running out of the house. The blaze was too strong and nobody was able to enter the house to remove the sleeping baby,” she said.

Ngubane was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

Jeevan said police were investigating the incident.

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