Freakish fires terrorise family

2011-06-26 23:13

Pietermaritzburg - Mysterious fires that apparently ignite spontaneously have over the past two weeks destroyed the homes and belongings of a family in Hopewell near Thornville.

The freakish fires have burned through the Mthembu family’s main house, two low-cost houses in the yard and another low-cost house belonging to the children, across the street from the main family home.

The charred remains of some of their possessions - beds, sound system speakers, plastic and steel wash basins, food and clothes - lay in the yard on Sunday.

The steel basins had melted.

The remaining furniture that the family managed to pull out of the fire was strewn across the lawn as they kept watch over it.

Neighhbours, fire-fighters and managers from the Richmond municipality and uMgungundlovu district disaster management teams agreed that this was the first fire of its kind they have witnessed.

They said they had seen the fire start spontaneously and burn through things that had been pulled from the house.

Mashoba Mthembu, the owner of the house, said at least 13 family members are squatting together in one room because they have nowhere else to sleep and that the children are fearful of sleeping in the main house.

Started on bed

She said that the fires started almost two weeks ago on her bed.

“It first burned through my bed and it burnt it halfway.

In that bed there was about R3?000 that had been paid a few weeks earlier for my daughter’s <i>ilobola</i>, and it also burnt,” Mthembu added.

She said that after her bed was burnt, the fire raged through each of the bedrooms, consuming mattresses first and then the whole rooms.

So far it has burned about four bedrooms in the main house.

"At first we thought that it was children who were just playing with fire and accidentally caused it, but the matter came to a head on yesterday (Sunday) when the fire became uncontrollable.

"It burned through everything. If you put it out here, it will start somewhere else.”

She said the fire had also burnt her daughter's house, which is across the street.

Ward councillor Bonginkosi Shange said that even the fire-fighters who had been called to the scene, were puzzled.

Not normal

“One female fire-fighter just about wet herself when the fire started right in front of her eyes and said she had never seen anything like this.  Just this morning we have put out at least three different fires,” he said.

Joe Nzimande, a community leader said, “The problem is that no other community members want to accommodate the family because they think this fire will follow them there.”

Musa Ndlovu, of the Richmond municipality disaster management team, said the team has organised counselling for the family.

He added, “This family has been heavily traumatised.

"This kind of fire is not a normal fire. It is something that we have never seen before.”  </p>

  • Donovan Jackson - 2011-06-26 23:23

    Must be the tokolosh. Need more bricks to raise the bed.

      Creeky - 2011-06-27 06:59

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!! Only in "Efrika"!!!! Has to be one connection that is suffering from "Pennis Envy"!!!

      BoB - 2011-06-27 08:24

      Not believing in weird things doesn`t mean they don`t happen. - 2011-06-27 08:50

      Its the angry spirits of the witches that they burned

      KD - 2011-06-27 09:31

      @ Donovan Jackson, that is a really fatuous comment. Regardless of their beliefs, this family have lost a lot. How would you feel if your house and things precious to you were destroyed? Your lack of empathy and compassion is disgusting. And that goes for everyone who is making a huge joke of a family's suffering.

      winter123 - 2011-06-27 10:39

      Some angry ancestor's doing perhaps? The story of the invisible p*nis raping women at random comes to mind...

      Whiskeyjack - 2011-07-04 14:43

      LOL !!!! Deh tokoloshi is putting eh fiya on my bed!

  • iareknersis - 2011-06-26 23:29

    Must be the ancestors who came after them for not voting ANC

      Steve - 2011-06-27 08:20

      ... or maybe punishing them for voting ANC?

  • cocopops - 2011-06-26 23:32

    Singing that song now, "How can we sleep when our beds are burning!". Must be some evil presence, maybe the future husbands parents don't want him to marry her and cast some evil spell on them, after all it was the lobola money that burnt on the bed

  • NZdreamer - 2011-06-27 05:09

    Lol! Your comments are so funny, maybe, just maybe, it is over consumption of that 'home made beer' that has gone to the head, and they are starting the fires themselves, without realizing it!!??

  • JohnnySolo - 2011-06-27 05:39

    Wake up guys, you're snoozing today! The very first thing the fire consumed was the lobola money. So, the money is now burnt, vanished, disappeared, never to be seen again. Hahahahahahahahaha .......

  • graham.christensen1 - 2011-06-27 06:01

    That this rubbish is even published is testemant to how stupid our society is. Then again, a fair percentage of the population goes to church on a Sunday so believing in the "tokolosh" is pretty much endemic.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-06-27 06:25

    Winter. Overloaded electrical circuits? Wires under carpets or other combustibles?

      Krolie - 2011-06-27 20:03

      With that argument I suppose the stuff taken ouside and which out of theblue spontaneously started to burn in front of the firefighter, had wiring too? Where was this plugged in and where was the plug?

  • thabatao - 2011-06-27 06:44

    You are wrong. It is the ancestors that came after them for voting for the ANC. They should have voted Freedom Plus or HNP or AWB.

  • umlaut - 2011-06-27 06:46

    They must be fracking in their area.

  • Deeteem - 2011-06-27 07:01

    The weed must be pretty strong in Pmb !!!

  • william.botha - 2011-06-27 07:12


      Rover_ZA - 2011-06-27 10:29

      Spontaneous combustion. Quite a few materials could ignite given the right circumstances and some oxygen. It worries me that our fire-fighters haven't been taught about this.

      Flee - 2011-06-27 13:44

      William ans Isabel... So your saying dont move when you fart LMFAO....

  • Elmo - 2011-06-27 07:19

    My heart goes out o the family. Hope that their community supports them by giving them a warm place to sleep. Then to the EDITOR????WHAT ARE WE READING?HAVE YOU READ THE ARTICAL.Please do before you publish the artical.Why use the term "wet her self" there is better words.This must be the worst artical I have ever seen

      LJ Graey - 2011-06-27 08:39

      "artical"? Really?! And as far as I know it's common practice not to edit a direct quote. And you might want to brush up on your grammar and punctuation a bit as well.

      Creeky - 2011-06-27 09:09

      WTF is an "ARTICAL"?????? ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!

      Flee - 2011-06-27 13:46

      Elmo.. Space Bar, big long thing at bottom of keyboard.... LOL

      KD - 2011-06-27 13:54

      So typical of trolls who have nothing of actual value to add - pick apart grammar and spelling, instead of focusing on the spirit of what is being said. LJGraey, Creeky - go play in the traffic and cleanse the gene pool.

  • Hantie Jansen van Vuuren - 2011-06-27 07:21


      DeonL - 2011-06-27 08:16

      It sounds like black magic to me. - 2011-06-27 08:55

      Deon. Whenever money dissapears it is usually black magic

      Creeky - 2011-06-27 09:10

      Black Magic.... PUNNY!!!!!!!!LOL

      Flee - 2011-06-27 13:47

      Explore ... WWaaahahah Thud...Oops fell of my chair.. Im up heheh ROTFL...

  • daaivark - 2011-06-27 07:23

    Must be the wrath of the ancestors. Perhaps the residents did not vote ANC. - Before anyone takes that seriously, please let me remove my tongue from my cheek. The worrying thing is how fast so many people are going to call this witchcraft or something equally nonsensical.

      DJI - 2011-06-27 07:51

      It's not long now before someone(witch) will be stoned or burnt to death for causing these fires.

      Susannomore - 2011-06-27 08:08

      I agree. There is a reasonable solution somewhere. Proper investigation is necessary prior to jumping to conclusions. I remember when I was in school in Witbank. There is an area which has an underground coal fire raging. Every now and then, "spontaneous fires" would erupt. Perhaps this is a similar instance. - 2011-06-27 09:17

      DJI... You are so right! Didnt think of that but something like that will definitely happen, hope it doesnt come to that though

      Flee - 2011-06-27 13:49

      Or some poor monkey DJI.. they would blame a frikkin earthworm if they found one on the mattress if they could....

  • OldSA - 2011-06-27 07:33

    I cannot believe that so called educated, civilized people makes fun of the loss this family had. It might be funny to you but to them this is real. If you don't have constructive comments, please don't comment here and show your stupidity.

      zaatheist - 2011-06-27 07:38

      Its is only amusing because of the cliam for supernatural causes. There are no such things as gods, demons, devils and poltergeists.

      Creeky - 2011-06-27 09:12

      Blame it on "PENNIS ENVY"!!!! 2011 and there are STILL PEOPLE that believes in this MUMBO JUMBO???? Serious people... look out for the Village Idiot with a Bic Lighter, some lighter fuel or someone with a box of Matches...

  • King - 2011-06-27 07:40

    Simple. Lobaba udle umfazi womuntu.

      BRONZE - 2011-06-27 08:44

      No, I'm thinking that the girl had competition. The dude chose to lobola her and now the other girl is taking her revenge. A woman scorned.

  • mark59 - 2011-06-27 07:59

    what next, talking monkey's

  • Verbatim - 2011-06-27 08:24

    Crap article. Crap Story. YAWN. They did it themselves. End of story. Moving on.....

      Flee - 2011-06-27 13:51

      I agree... some kind of insurance claim coming up.. will see if they are repudiated.. bet you if they are they will go to the press with some woe is me story...

  • Mauritz - 2011-06-27 08:26

    White phosphorus is a material made from a common allotrope of the chemical element phosphorus that is used in smoke, tracer, illumination and incendiary munitions.[1] Other common names include WP, and the slang term "Willie Pete," which is dated from its use in Vietnam, and is still sometimes used in military jargon.[2] As an incendiary weapon, white phosphorus burns fiercely and can set cloth, fuel, ammunition and other combustibles on fire, and cause serious burns or death. In addition to its offensive capabilities, white phosphorus is also a highly efficient smoke-producing agent, burning quickly and causing an instant bank of smoke.- wikipedia. I know of someone who had similar multipal fires in their house, the only reasonable expanation for these fires where that they were started by the maid who was experimenting with white phosphorous known to be used occassionally by some witch doctors and voodoo practiotioners. It comes in the form of a paste. When this paste is applied to any ignitable material it will eventually ignite when in contact with oxygen. -just an observation - use it or lose it!

      Kwagga88 - 2011-06-27 13:05

      At last someone sane!!!

      Kwagga88 - 2011-06-27 13:05

      At last someone sane!!!

  • WhoSaidWhat - 2011-06-27 08:52

    Another one for Dean and Sam Winchester!

  • Queteepie - 2011-06-27 09:19

    Some of you write the biggest load of crap, the famiily have lost their belongings and you make a joke of it. It could have been your household and your stuff going up in flames.

      Flee - 2011-06-27 15:27

      Really Cutie?? Do you think that the tokolosh, some spirit or hex has caused these mysterious fires.. PLEEEZZZEEE.. Yes they lost their stuff Sorry, but be realistic, this will come out as some kid with lighter fluid or an adult looking for their "Home Owners" to pay out!!!!!

  • Gail - 2011-06-27 09:21

    This is the works of satan, as long as people continue to pray to ancestors, and mess with sangoma's there will be more of this type of thing happening!

      Felix - 2011-06-27 11:40

      Why? Is Satan pissed that the people are ignoring him for other ridiculous beliefs?

  • thobsa malope - 2011-06-27 09:21

    More likely the daughter is not comfortable with her pending/recent marriage!

  • Kwagga88 - 2011-06-27 09:27

    This really piss me off when people revert to the supernatural to explain "weird" things, wait until the case was investigated and then start blaming the supernatural, then we can all see just how stupid you are. There is more than likely a reasonable explanation for this, same with someone seeing a spot or light in the sky and suddenly because he can't explain it, it must then be a alien craft...BULLSH1T!

      DeonL - 2011-06-27 10:20

      Explain a fire that starts in front of a fireman? Not so easy.

      Kwagga88 - 2011-06-27 12:28

      @DeonL Maybe the fire man did not have any thermodynamics training or any chemistry knowledge, but the findings of the inquiry will probably not be publish because it is more "news worthy" to speculate. Actually it is really easy, phosphorus can easily be the cause and also a number of different chemicals, someone in the family could even be working in a chemical plant or something similar and be contaminated when he/she gets home from work. But I don't want to speculate until the fires has been explained in a normal scientific manner, and trust me there will be an normal explanation but then the findings will probably be a conspiracy...

      Flee - 2011-06-27 15:30

      Maybe the fire "Appeared to be out" once the furniture was taken out the house into the open Air it ignited again...... (oxygen fuels flames)?? DAHH! Rocket science

      Kwagga88 - 2011-06-27 15:44

      @Flee Exactly but then again that would be to much to understand for the lazy people thinking it is evil spirits...Well spirits is also flammable...

      DeonL - 2011-06-27 15:52

      I knew a woman that was into black magic, she used to harm people in weird ways, like scratch marks appearing on your body from nowhere, photo's flying from the walls and landing far away. Not all things can be explained.

      Kwagga88 - 2011-06-27 16:22

      @DeonL This is the same with the stigmata effect, again it can be explained, every single stigmata was explained and proven to be fake, you can do amazing things with iodine. What makes me a sceptic is the fact that the human brain is easily influenced and open to suggestion this can make you believe the sky is red if you really believe, so that is why I normally take any reported supernatural events with scepticism. Case and point "Aliens" or "UFO" yes it is a an unidentified object at first but then it can be explained, really I would love it to be able to say there is Aliens visiting us and I do believe that there is other intelligent live out there the odds is just to great. But I do not believe we had visitors here or even in the past, if that was the case then we would not even know about it and why the flying fudge do they travel light years and then crash???They have technology to do interstellar travel but crash when they enter a planets atmosphere?? Sorry a bit of the topic but that is the big reason why I think this is complete BULL

      Kwagga88 - 2011-06-27 16:51

      @DeonL You know that I can say that there is people that can accelerate a particle almost to the speed of light and then analyse the moment that happens in nano seconds and that I can look into the past every night do you want me to explain that? And I will give you normal logic explanation and it won't have anything to do with black magic...

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2011-06-27 12:33

    fringe events

  • ohannah - 2011-06-27 12:52

    Must be witchcraft; will have to go out and rape 10 8 yr olds to cleanse the evil

  • Derrick - 2011-06-27 15:14

    What on earth is articale trying to imply. "Freakish fires", what rubbish. They make it sound like some sorta mysterious thing is at play. The is always a logical explanation. As for the firefighter who almost wet his/hers pants (unclear in the articale) i believe is miss reporting.

  • debrakayestylist - 2011-06-27 20:16

    gas leak

  • Dries - 2011-06-28 08:49

    OMG, the appearance-changing ghost of Steytlerville seen by guys returning from the shebeen late at night has flashed off north and joined up with the tokolosh. Eish.... And they believe it too, so even if it not true if they believe it is true their beliefs must be respected so it is true. Africa....

  • mastermind - 2011-06-28 19:21

    But it has happened. Spontaneous fires are more common than you might think. 'Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible and the Ignored' lists many such instances. On January 5, 1820 in London, England clothes and beds burst into flames. On April 16, 1963 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia the home of the Douglas MacDonald family continually erupted in blazes, even after the electricity was cut off. On August 7, 1948, in Macomb, Illinois, the farmhouse of Charles Wiley experienced over 200 self-igniting fires in one week. Other locations for this phenomena include Ontario and Indiana. For more details see pages 4, 81,169,289 and many others.

  • Daina - 2011-06-30 17:11

    I believe that one of the family members have the gift of being a {FIRESTARTER}.Just because you dont believe or have not seen does not mean it doesnt exsist.

  • John Paul - 2011-07-02 23:02

    It is the curse of nomquasi, burning the family's belongings, and promising the the riches of the chinese.

  • Trinity Bell - 2014-02-16 00:55

    It's definitely supernatural related. If you don't believe fine. But it's supernatural related things and ask any SPN fan.

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