Granny, man and 3 children killed in Meyerton fire were 'true definition of love'

Firefighter. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
Firefighter. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

Five family members, including a six-month-old baby and two other children, died in a house fire in Meyerton on Monday night. 

News24 reported on Tuesday that three of the family members - a man and two children - were retrieved from the house while it was still alight. A further two bodies - those of a grandmother and a baby - were found after the fire had been extinguished. 

Netwerk24 reported that the grandmother and baby were burnt beyond recognition. Midvaal chief fire officer Hannes Steyn told that publication that the man, who was the grandmother's husband, and two other children could not be revived and were declared dead on the scene.

The mother of two of the children - a four-year-old girl and the infant - survived because she had reportedly gone to the shops. She reportedly lives in a flat adjacent to the house and had left the two children in the care of her mother and stepfather. The other child, a five-year-old boy, was being raised by the grandmother.

TimesLive reported that the couple - identified as Sibongile and Thomas Strauss - had been watching television in the lounge with their six-month-old grandson when the fire broke out. The two other children had been in separate bedrooms where they reportedly inhaled smoke.

Screams woke neighbours

Screams reportedly woke up a neighbour at around 20:30. Madeleine Oelfse told TimesLive that she heard emotional screams and asked her husband to check what was happening.

She and her husband then attempted to put out the fire using hosepipes and fire extinguishers until emergency services officials arrived.

According to ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring, Midvaal Fire Services called paramedics to the scene and they arrived shortly after 21:00.

On arrival, medics found the house burning. Fire services battled the blaze for some time.

"Three patients were retrieved from within the house while it was still alight. A further two were found after the fire had been extinguished.

"Unfortunately, paramedics found that the two adults and three children, including a 6-month-old, had succumbed to their numerous injuries. Nothing could be done for them and they were declared dead," Meiring said. 

A neighbour, Puleng Dlamini, told TimesLive she was shattered by the loss of the family.

"They were good people, always together and a true definition of love," she reportedly said.

Meyerton police spokesperson Constable Tlaleng Moloi told IOL the cause was unknown and police investigations were under way to establish what could have led to the fire.

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