PICS: Residents pick up the pieces after KZN shack fire claims teen mom, two children

2019-08-01 16:22
Residents of Clermont in KZN survey the damage caused by a deadly dire that claimed three lives.

Residents of Clermont in KZN survey the damage caused by a deadly dire that claimed three lives. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has offered assistance to families affected by a shack fire in Clermont that claimed three lives earlier this week.

The victims included teen mom Samkelisiwe Ngxolo, 17, and her two children Oluhle, 3, and six-month-old Sanokuhle, from the Beachway informal settlement in Durban.

Thirty others were left homeless and 18 homes were affected.

"Tuesday is a day I will never forget. It is when I lost three members of my family," said Xoliswa Ngxolo, Samkelisiwe's aunt.

She said she discovered the deaths while walking her child to school.

"I was walking my son to school and got a call informing me that my shack was on fire and that my niece and her children were all dead."

shack fire, kzn
A Clermont resident amid the carnage caused by the fire. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka said the department would provide support for the affected family, which includes making funeral arrangements.

"The scenes that greeted us this morning are truly heartbreaking," he said.

During his visit to the area, Hlomuka who was accompanied by disaster management teams from the province and the eThekwini metro, told victims support would be ongoing "to ensure that you are able to return to normal life".

"Some of them have lost essential documents such as IDs. Additionally, we are in contact with [the Department of] Human Settlements and they will be providing materials which can be used by the affected families to put up temporary structures. We have also distributed interim relief aid which includes blankets, non-perishable food and clothing items," said Hlomuka.

He urged KZN residents, especially those in informal settlements, to be wary of potential fires.

"We all need to play our part and ensure that we protect ourselves and our loved ones by ensuring that we use caution when using candles or any flammable product as they can cause serious damage when left unattended."

shack fire, kzn
The aftermath of the deadly fire. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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