Shack blaze destroys everything

2015-08-05 06:00
MMABATHO MADUO’s family lost everything in the fire that destroyed her shack on Thursday (30/07).

Boipelo Mere

MMABATHO MADUO’s family lost everything in the fire that destroyed her shack on Thursday (30/07). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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unable to tell you what caused the massive fire that destroyed all my belongings. I lost everything in that fire.”

These were the words of Mmabatho Maduo (33) from Lerato Park, whose shack had been burnt to ashes on Thursday (30/07) night.

Maduo, her husband and two children were left with only the clothes on their backs. Express Northern Cape visited her at her sister’s shack, a few metres away from the burnt-down building.

She was adamant that the fire had not been caused by the burning lamp that she had left in the shack on Tursday night. That, she said, was what everyone thought was the cause.

According to her, she went to visit her sister as usual and was just about to have supper when she heard a neighbour calling her in the dark to tell her that her shack was on fire.

That was hardly half an hour after she had returned from her shack to light the lamp with her daughter, she explained.

“I had to rush back and found myself standing around helplessly.

“On arrival at the shack, I managed to push open the door to see where the fire was. I could see the burning lamp in the same spot where I had left it, in the living room. It was the kitchen that was on fire.”

Neighbours and members of the community had already started trying to extinguish the fire.

Meanwhile Maduo’s neighbours almost suffered the same fate of being left homeless during the incident X a part of their shack was broken down. The two shacks was built too closely together and this resulted in their shack being at risk.

One community member, Ndumiso Jita, advised against the community’s tendency of building their shacks too close together, “to avoid situations like these”.

He strongly condemned the behaviour of some of the community members of becoming too excited during such emergencies.

“There are times when some people just get too excited and do not think. This time they caused unnecessary damage to the neighbour’s shack and belongings by throwing almost everything outside.

“I understand that they said the plates of the neighbour’s wall were red from the heat, but they did not have to break the wall down. They could have just poured water on it to cool it off,” said Jita.

According to him, more education is still needed on how to behave during such situations.

“People need to be reminded to stay calm while assisting in case of an emergency.”

The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed the incident and stated that no persons had been injured during the fire.

“The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage,” said Lt. Olebogeng Tawana

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