Family seeks help

2018-05-08 06:00
Some of the damage to the Bergmann home at Solum Flats in Gabriel Road.

Some of the damage to the Bergmann home at Solum Flats in Gabriel Road.

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It was disastrous for the Bergmann family from Solum Flats in Gabriel Road, Plumstead on Thursday 19 April.

Before the kettle could even boil, the three family members heard a loud bang coming from their kitchen cabinet where the kettle was plugged in. Their two-bedroom Council flat was soon engulfed in smoke and flames.

The family say they did not know what had happened. They battled the fire to try and save as much as they could and “luckily” the neighbours came to their rescue and called for a local fire service.

The Bergmanns lost everything that was in the kitchen and are now struggling to make ends meet.

Nakita Bergmann (25) says: “It could have been worse. Everything happened so fast and my mother got hurt in the process. We are glad our neighbours came through for us.”

After 25 years of living in this Council flat, Noelleen Bergmann (65) says they never anticipated a fire in their home.

She says the flat belongs to the City Council and is not well maintained. Noelleen says the officers who inspected their house informed them that fire was caused by a faulty plug.

“I am not surprised because nothing was ever done since we came here. These are still the same old cables and plugs we found here when I first moved in 25 years ago. The officials promised they would help us within that week but nothing has happened since. We live by the grace. If it was not for the kindness of our neighbours we would be going to bed on empty stomachs and living in darkness. We also need help with any kitchen appliances and everything used in the kitchen.”

She suffered minor injuries to her knee from falling while trying to put out the fire.

The family survives on Noelleen’s pension grant.

She says after the tragedy she was left broke and can no longer buy any groceries. She is appealing to anyone who can help with food donations to call her on 063 656 3364.

The family’s electricity has been off since the fire and they are relying on neighbours for hot meals and a warm bath. Noelleen says while they are waiting for their electricity to be restored, they would appreciate help with a gas stove and gas cylinder to at least be able to cook any food donations.

The City of Cape Town says the relevant department is in the process of investigating the matter and collating the necessary information.

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