Man and nephew, 3, die in house fire after trying to rescue toddler from blaze

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  • Misumzi Madikane, 37, ran into a burning house in a courageous attempt to rescue his three-year-old nephew Aza, but both died after being trapped in the inferno. 
  • A man believed to be behind the suspected arson, is being sought by the Kariega police in the Eastern Cape. 
  • Five members of the Madikane family had escaped the 00:22 Sunday blaze after smashing down a wooden door but Misumzi ran back in for Aza. 

In a courageous attempt to rescue his three-year-old nephew from their burning home, a Kariega man was burnt to death alongside the toddler after being trapped in the inferno.

Aza Madikane and his uncle Misumzi, 37, died in the blaze that gutted their Olivier Street home in Kariega's Blikiesdorp area in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

The police said they are hunting for a man known to the family for murder, attempted murder, and arson.

The police suspect the man had started the fire that broke out at 00:22 while six members of the Madikane family were sleeping.

READ Eastern Cape prison boss' wife, two children die in blaze

Police spokesperson Captain Gerda Swart said some family members managed to escape the flames after breaking down the back door, but a 37-year-old man went back into the house to rescue a three-year-old.

"They were trapped and burnt to death," revealed Swart adding that, "... the suspect is known, and an arrest is imminent".

Swart said cases of murder, attempted murder and arson are under investigation and the motive is yet to be established.

Family spokesperson Nonqaba Madikane could not be reached for comment.

Ward 49 councillor Gerogen Miggels said the family were busy dealing with the aftermath of the tragic event, including planning for the funeral.

Miggels said he is in talks with the office of the mayor of Nelson Mandela Municipality in an effort to secure donations including food parcels and mattresses for the family.

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In a separate incident, an inquest docket has been opened after a 24-year-old woman was found dead in her boyfriend's shack at Ncerha Village 2, in East London's Kidds Beach area on Saturday.

The police said neighbours were woken up by screams coming from the shack shortly after the woman arrived from a local tavern at 22:30.

"A neighbour went to look and find out that the shack was on fire. Then the fire department was called to extinguish the fire and recovered the remains of the 24-year-old female," said police spokesperson Captain Hazel Mqala.

Mqala added that the cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and that the investigation is continuing.

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