Fire ravages home, almost nothing left

2019-07-02 06:01
Thurston Hendricks and Anthony Adonis stand in the burnt remains of the Adonis household.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Thurston Hendricks and Anthony Adonis stand in the burnt remains of the Adonis household.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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After 23:00 on Wednesday 19 June, several residents lost all they owned in a fire that ravaged the corner of Komlossy and Runge streets in Cafda.

One of the residents on the property, Anthony Adonis has lived in the home for about 13 years since being given the property by a relative.

Adonis recapped the events that unfolded on the night: “We heard something that sounded like gunshots, so we checked what was going on outside.

“We ran outside to the neighbour opposite the road and they said it’s burning over there,” Adonis said, gesturing to his plot.

Ashleigh Hendricks, another resident at the property, added: “We saw some of the people who live there jumping over the wall to escape the fire and that’s when we realised how big it really was.”

The flames were doused by Lakeside Fire Department.

Referring to the cause of the fire, Adonis said: “I think it was arson. This is gang area.” He is adamant that the fire was caused as a result of a hit on one of the gang-affiliated neighbours which had gone wrong.

Residents confirmed that officials from the City’s Disaster Risk Management team had visited the home after the fire to provide relief in the form of food parcels, which they said would only be delivered for up to three days after the incident.

With no electricity still, by Tuesday 25 June, Adonis and his wife were faced with living in the charred remains of their home without the means to cook, bath or carry out basic daily tasks, and had resorted to using electricity from their neighbour on Runge Street.

By Tuesday afternoon, the City’s Informal Settlements and Backyarder Department had delivered supplies to Adonis and the Hendricks families to rebuild their homes.

With some form of relief being delivered, there were still two major issues that perturbed the residents.

Thurston Hendricks shared the sentiment felt by all who had endured the incident.

“What upsets us so much, is that our ward councillor was not here. The secretary was very helpful, but our councillor did not come,” he said.

The second challenge faced was that regarding the receipt of the case number from the police who responded to the scene. “Everyone who wants to help us needs the case number and we don’t have it yet,” said Adonis. Unfortunately, the responding officer who took the statement was Donovan Prins, the slain Steenberg police officer, and it was assumed by the residents that he had not opened a docket for their case by the time of his death.

Adonis’s wife, Berenice, confirmed that she received a case number more than a week later, on Thursday 25 June. The residence is still currently without electricity because, according to Berenice, the council requires the residents to have the house cleared by a qualified electrician before they can restore power.

Currently, Thurston, Ashleigh and their almost one-year-old baby are living with an aunt, Rowena Hendricks, while Adonis and his wife are still living in their home in fear of theft if they should leave.

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