Shack fire claims two girls while mother was allegedly drinking at shebeen - she was later found dead

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The remnants of a shack that caught fire in the Ramaphosa informal settlement in which two minors were killed.
The remnants of a shack that caught fire in the Ramaphosa informal settlement in which two minors were killed.
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  • Two girls, aged two and four, were killed in a shack fire at the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Ekurhuleni on Saturday.
  • The mother of the children was allegedly found drinking at a shebeen at the time and was later found dead.
  • An eight-year-old managed to escape the blaze, but sustained serious burn wounds. 

The mother of two children who were killed in a shack fire at the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Ekurhuleni, while she was allegedly drinking at a shebeen, was suspected of having taken her own life after hearing about the death of her daughters.

The two children -  two and four - died on Saturday at the informal settlement, while their eight-year-old brother managed to escape the inferno, sustaining severe burn wounds.

Emergency services spokesperson William Ntladi said firefighters were dispatched at 5:27, arriving on scene to find community members frantically trying to extinguish the blaze with buckets of water.

"Firefighters took over and managed to extinguish the blaze," Ntladi said.

"Following the information on scene of entrapment, a search was conducted, and two charred bodies of the girl children were found under the rubble."

"Their elder brother, aged eight-years-old, survived after managing to escape through the door and he sustained intense facial, neck, and head burn wounds including all four extremities (arms and legs). The burnt patient was transported by an ambulance to Tambo Memorial Hospital for further care."

Shebeen

It's alleged the children were left alone in the shack overnight and that their mother was found at a nearby shebeen and informed of the incident.

Ntladi said when the mother arrived at the scene, she was overwhelmed and disappeared unnoticed.

Emergency services were called out again after community members discovered her body face down behind a shack near illegally connected power lines, about 60 meters from her destroyed home.

Ntladi told News24 that it was unclear how she died and that there were no visible injuries on her body which ruled out any sort of mob justice attack.

It was suspected the mother took her own life, but a post-mortem would reveal the cause of death.

"The scene was handed over to the police for further investigations and forensic pathology officials for the removal of the bodies to an appropriate facility," Ntladi concluded.

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