7 kids killed in Durban fire all have living relatives

Durban - The seven children killed in a fire that gutted a Durban place of safety on Thursday morning all have living relatives, according to KwaZulu-Natal department of social development spokesperson Ncumisa Ndelu. 

Paramedics had earlier described the centre as an orphanage. 

One adult died in the blaze. 

Speaking to News24 outside the Lakehaven Child and Youthcare Centre in Sea Cow Lake, Ndelu said that investigations into the cause of the fire were under way. 

She said that 18 people, including two child minders, had been asleep inside a cottage when it caught fire. 

According to a profile on the Child Welfare Durban and District (CWDD) website, the centre has been in existence since 1958. 

The CWDD project is registered to cater for the needs of 60 children between the ages of 6 years to 18 years who are abused, neglected and abandoned.

Securing families for the children

Lakehaven said all the children were placed at the centre through a court order.

"Our aim is to provide children at risk with an environment that is stimulating, motivating, and equip them with skills to become self-sufficient and positive leaders in the future," it says. 

"We regard empowerment as the key to social and emotional well-being and development of children. This will enable them to have a sense of pride and dignity. Our challenges are securing a warm and loving family for our children and equipping them with skills."

KwaZulu-Natal emergency services said some of the children were as young as 8 years old.

Four other people were injured and hospitalised. 

Emergency services said they received the call about the fire at 02:24 on Thursday morning.

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