Fire razes woman’s Lincoln Meade home

2008-01-04 00:00

A FAMILY home in Murray Road, Lincoln Meade, was razed by fire yesterday morning, leaving only the garage standing.

House owner Nelisiwe Kunene said she has been left homeless, with only the clothes on her back.

“I lost everything. I don’t know where I am going to sleep, I don’t know what I am going to wear … I’m just like this,” said a visibly distraught Kunene.

She said she received a call at work just after 10 am informing her that her house was on fire.

She was then rushed home by a colleague, but by the time she got there, it was all over. Her home had been reduced to rubble within minutes of being engulfed by the flames.

The fire is a huge blow, because Kunene had paid off the house after 11 years, but had terminated the insurance on the property.

Vuyiswa, Kunene’s oldest daughter, said she left the house for a few minutes to go to the nearby shops.

She was notified by a taxi driver whom she knows that her house was on fire.

“I really could not believe it. It had literally been a few minutes. When I heard my house was on fire I ran home and people were already standing by … I had to watch it all go up in flames.”

All Vuyiswa (17) could think about in the aftermath was her clothes and the fact that they will have to go back to the township to stay with their granny.

A neighbour said he was working in his garden when he noticed the smoke. “I first thought it was a tyre burning and then I saw the flames. And let me tell you, it was a matter of minutes and the house was gone. The roof caught on fire and within minutes it caved in.”

He said the quick response of the fire brigade saved his own house. However, his roof suffered from smoke damage.

The neighbour said he first called the 10111 number, but the operator who answered swore at him, saying he was not the fire department.

“It was disgusting to say the least, I mean they are civil servants as well, it is their job,” said the neighbour.

Paul Muirhead was driving in the area around the time the fire started. “I saw the billowing smoke … flames were visible everywhere,” he said.

Muirhead, who joined the crowd and helped call the fire department, said the roof almost collapsed on the firefighters.

Juggie Padayachee, the operations manager of Fire Rescue and Disaster Management, said they are busy with the investigations.

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