Winter fires claim lives

2015-07-08 06:00
A burning house in KwaNobuhle caused the deaths of five members of the Jack family. Isaac Sibidla, who rented the house to the family, said the fire quickly “devoured” the house.                                         

A burning house in KwaNobuhle caused the deaths of five members of the Jack family. Isaac Sibidla, who rented the house to the family, said the fire quickly “devoured” the house. Photo: CARA-LEE SCHEUN

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WINTER fires have claimed the lives of six people in two separate incidents in KwaZakhele and KwaNobuhle.

The charred body of Nomfundiso Mjoli (49) of KwaZakhele was discovered in the early hours of Monday morning after a fire believed to have been caused by an electric stove. Her nephew Unathi Mtombeni (30) told Indaba Express that his aunt and her boyfriend, whose name was not mentioned, were at home sleeping on Sunday night.

According to Mtombeni, the area was experiencing load-shedding when Mjoli’s tenants who rented flats at the back of the house were woken up by the fire.

“The tenants tried to put out the fire to no avail,” said Mtombeni, adding that they called the police and fire brigade who found his aunt already burnt to ashes and her boyfriend injured, but still alive.

“We do not know the cause of the fire but from what we heard, it must have been started by an electric device, possibly a stove after a bout of loadshedding,” said

Port Elizabeth police spokesperson Constable Mncedi Mbombo.

Mbombo warned residents to be extremely careful.

“We understand that it is winter and it is very cold. People are warned, however, that they should not leave fires on when going to sleep, especially those who are cooking on a fire.”

Mother and four children die in blaze

Not even 50 people were enough to save five people from the flames of their burning house in Kwanobuhle.

The house in the backyard of Isaac Sibidla (50) in erupted in flames at about 8pm on Sunday night.

It quickly spread and shot high towers of flames into the night making it impossible to save the occupants of the rental home.

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