10 kids who survived fatal fire in KZN receive trauma counselling

2016-07-14 11:56
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PICS: 8 killed in deadly orphanage blaze

Seven children and one adult perished in a fire at a youth centre in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Services confirmed. View photos here.

Durban - Ten children survived a fire that gutted a Durban place of safety on Thursday morning, leaving seven children and one 19-year-old dead, the Lakehaven Child and Youthcare Centre said. 

Spokesperson Shehnaaz Gabru said that 18 people were in the cottage when the fire started. 

"There were also two child care workers at the cottage at the same time. Both of them were also rescued. Ten other children were also rescued," she said. 

"Three children were treated for cuts and smoke inhalation. 

"There are trauma social workers who are here counselling the survivors of the accident, as well as the staff who are working here who are also very traumatised."

She said that they had no idea what had caused the fire, but police were investigating.

"We will be sharing information as and when we get it... I will have to get... the number of the children who are here, but I think its 18 because others are on holiday as it is school holiday," Gabru said. 

"Most of the children who were here have families."

Paramedics had earlier described the centre as an orphanage. 

According to a profile on the Child Welfare Durban and District (CWDD) website, the centre has been in existence since 1958. 

The CWDD project is registered to cater for the needs of 60 children between the ages of 6 years to 18 years who are abused, neglected and abandoned.

Lakehaven said all the children were placed at the centre through court orders.

"Our aim is to provide children at risk with an environment that is stimulating, motivating, and equip them with skills to become self-sufficient and positive leaders in the future," it says. 

"We regard empowerment as the key to social and emotional well-being and development of children. This will enable them to have a sense of pride and dignity. Our challenges are securing a warm and loving family for our children and equipping them with skills."

KwaZulu-Natal emergency services said some of the children were as young as eight.

They said they had received the call about the fire at 02:24 on Thursday morning.

Read more on:    durban  |  fires

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