Foreman Road settlement fire death toll rises to 3 as mom dies after dad, child

2017-11-14 18:16


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Durban – The mother of Sisipho Xulu, the 2-year-old who was the first victim of the Sunday blaze that destroyed dozens of homes at the Foreman's Road settlement in Clare Estate, Durban, succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday morning, police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said.

This brings the death toll from the fire to three after Sisipho's father, Eric Mpanza, died on Monday afternoon, also in hospital. Authorities have yet to release the mother's name.

Read more here: 2-year-old killed, almost 1 000 displaced in Durban fire

"Our movement will stand with the family and the community during this very difficult time. Eric was from Mozambique and we will do what we can to ensure that his body is returned home with dignity," Abahlali baseMjondolo head S'bu Zikode said.

Zikode said members of the movement within the community were aiming to help rebuild the area.

"We want to organise to fight future fires together and to work with the fire department, and to struggle against the oppressive conditions that leave some of us to die in shack fires while others sleep safely at night."

He said fires would stop when "access to services and decent housing for all" existed.

The eThekwini municipality was expected to foot the bill for the funeral costs of the child and mother, Zikode said.

933 people displaced

Nearly 1 000 people were displaced after a massive blaze razed a large part of the settlement in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A fire, the source of which is yet to be determined, destroyed 70 homes in the settlement, claiming the life of the child.

eThekwini municipality spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said 933 people had been affected by the fire.

"We anticipate the number to grow as some residents were away for the weekend."

Mthethwa said a tent would be erected as a temporary shelter for residents.

A firefighter was assaulted and two firehoses were vandalised while fire crews battled the blaze on Sunday.

Sydenham community policing forum member Satish Dhupelia said while the fire was being put out on Sunday someone had hit one of the firemen with a crowbar and "knocked him out".

The attack on rescue officials caused a delay in firefighting. By the time the fire was extinguished, two children needed to be hospitalised.


Read more on:    durban  |  fires

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