Mom dies of suspected smoke inhalation at home while son battles Pringle Bay blaze – report

2019-01-03 20:46
Cobie Rossouw who died on Thursday. (Netwerk24)

Cobie Rossouw who died on Thursday. (Netwerk24)

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While 59-year-old Cobie Rossouw's son was fighting a fire that has engulfed the Overstrand area, his mother was at her home, complaining of a tight chest, according to Netwerk24. 

Shortly after telling a friend who was visiting that she was struggling to breathe, Rossouw was dead.   

Her daughter-in-law, Carla, told News24's sister publication that the family was unsure of what the exact cause of Rossouw's death was, but it is suspected that she died of smoke inhalation. 

At the time of her death, Rossouw's son, Louis, who is a volunteer firefighter, was helping to fight the blaze. 

Earlier on Thursday, Overstrand fire services and disaster management chief Lester Smith confirmed one death to News24. 

"Yes, one confirmed dead and SAPS and forensics will determine the cause," Smith told News24.

Police also later confirmed the death.

"This office can confirm that a 59-year-old woman who stayed in Elizabeth Road, Pringle Bay, passed away this morning at about 01:20," Captain FC van Wyk told News24.

"A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death. An inquest case was registered for further investigation."

Man arrested for arson

Netwerk24 reported that three people were treated for smoke inhalation at the Mediclinic in Hermanus.

A man is expected to appear in court on Monday, January 7, following his arrest on Thursday. 

It is alleged that he lit a flare on New Year's Eve, sparking the blaze. 

Fires have affected areas close to Betty's Bay, Pringle Bay, Hangklip and Rooi Els.

According to police, the 34-year-old man is facing charges of contravening the Nature Conservation Act – a charge more serious than arson.

"We arrested the suspect for the fires. We've got witnesses also. We locked the suspect [up] at Kleinmond police station," Captain Harold Nqwenani told News24.

Working on Fire tweeted on Thursday that the fire was not yet under control, but homes were still not in any danger. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires
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