Burning ‘love’ results in flames

2018-05-24 06:01

A jealous lover is believed to have started a fire that left 15 people in Pholile Informal Settlement homeless on Sunday morning (20 May).

The raging flames gutted more than five shacks. Residents were awakened in the early hours of the morning by screams alerting them to fire.

The fire victims managed to rescue only a handful of belongings before they ran to safety. They desperately tried to extinguish the fire.

The incident has not been reported to the police. The man fled the scene.

The fire is said to have started in a shack where a couple has been drinking together earlier that night. Later, the pair got into an argument.

Thandi Souls (33) claims her jealous boyfriend started the fire.

“He was beating me and my children; we manage to escape in the morning,”she said. “My sister took my 12-year-old child and I found a place to hide from [my boyfriend],” she says.

Souls received a call from neighbours her shack was alight.

“I immediately knew it was he who started it and I couldn’t save anything, even the children’s clothes,” says a visibly bruised Souls.

Community members are angry and say the man must not be allowed to return to the area. Lolu Ndlela says her children, who were asleep at the time, nearly sustained burn wounds during the inferno. “He must not come back to the area,” she concurs.

During a visit to the area later that day, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille also visited the gutted homes of the fire victims.

“I am glad that the City of Cape Town has quickly moved to provide the residents with starter packs,” she said.

“It is unfortunate that this fire happened when we are busy putting electricity in this area.”

Theo Layne, Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, confirms they responded the fire, adding that six informal structures were destroyed and 15 people were left homeless.”

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