Shack fire claims life

2020-02-06 06:00
Some family members are cleaning the debris.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Some family members are cleaning the debris.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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A 37-year-old woman died in a shack fire at Kosovo informal settlement, in Samora Machel, on Sunday 2 February. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Nontshumayelo Nyantsa (37) was found lying with her face down on the floor in one of the rooms in her shack.

Nyantsa’s younger sister Nomalungisa (30), who stays in Philippi, said she received a phone call from her sister’s neighbour informing her about the fire. “I received the call at about 02:00. When I arrived the firefighters were already extinguishing the flames but she was dead,” said Nomalungisa. She said all her sister’s belongings were destroyed in the fire.

Nyantsa’s neighbour Nozolile Yozi said the fire started at the front door and quickly spread throughout the shack. “I saw a big light shining on my glass door and then heard something exploding and her screaming. She screamed twice and then went quiet. When I went out I saw big flames,” said Yozi, adding that her shack was partly affected by the blaze. “My shack is damaged because people were climbing over it in an attempt to douse the flames. We had to kick open our shack at the back for us to evacuate because the burglar bar was stuck,” said Yozi.

The City’s fire and rescue service spokesperson Jermaine Carelse confirmed the incident and said one structure was affected.

“The Mitchell’s Plain fire crew was first on the scene and managed to contain the fire to a single structure. Whilst clearing the debris the body of a woman who sustained fatal burn wounds was discovered,” said Carelse.

Nomalungisa said they are going to meet with other family members to discuss funeral arrangements which will be held in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

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