Fire destroys home

2017-12-12 06:01
The remains of a family home of more than 30 years next to the Wolfgat Nature Reserve after a fire last week.PHOTO: Samantha Lee

The remains of a family home of more than 30 years next to the Wolfgat Nature Reserve after a fire last week.PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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Personal belongings lay among the rubble of what had been a family home of more than 30 years.

The Tafelsig family woke up with just enough time to escape with their lives as their home was engulfed and completely destroyed on Tuesday 5 December.

On the windy morning, the family was woken just before 02:00 by the screams of a family member.

“My aunt stayed in a wendy house attached to the house. She woke up and woke us up to tell us the house was on fire. We got out just in time. It was very windy and there was nothing we could do,” says Candice ­Conrad.

Her mother, Cheryl Mckenzie, is the homeowner.

Ten people were affected by the fire. There are six girls and women aged four, four, 17, 39, 52 and 62 and four boys and men aged five, eight, 24 and 27.

The property borders the Wolfgat Nature Reserve and residents say they often battle with criminal elements who do drugs and burn copper at their walls.

The house had no border wall.

“I only moved in here about three months ago and it was my plan to close the back with a wall,” says Conrad.

The family believes the fire was started by someone burning something behind their house on that windy morning.

Conrad says they often have to chase people away.

“After the incident they continued to burn things here and we chased them away. We also called metro police but they were gone already when they got here,” she says.

Neighbours say they were too afraid to come outside as it sounded like gunshots as the gas tank and car exploded in the fire.

The fire destroyed everything.

“It spread quickly. We just had enough time to get out.

“No-one was injured,” says Conrad.

The family has had to split up, living with neighbours and friends. They are in need of everything to rebuild their lives.

“All we want is a place where we can all be together,” she says.

They have already received roof sheets and are calling on the community to help them rebuild their home.

They have received clothing and thanked their neighbours and friends for their help and support.

Their needs include clothing, food, building materials and other personal items.

V If you would like to help the family, call Craig Mckenzie on 071 002 7219.

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