Home News City family escapes shack inferno

City family escapes shack inferno

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The family – a couple aged 49 and 37 years old, an 86-year-old grandmother, two teenage girls aged 14 and 17, and a five-year-old child – managed to escape the inferno.

The shanty engulfed in flames. Picture: Supplied

A CITY family of five lost all their belongings after a fire erupted and within seconds engulfed their entire shack in Colville on Tuesday night.

The family – a couple aged 49 and 37 years old, an 86-year-old grandmother, two teenage girls aged 14 and 17, and a five-year-old child – managed to escape the inferno.

The 37-year-old woman and her family are currently staying with her brother, Gershwin Jacobs, and his family.

Jacobs explained on Wednesday that his sister had screamed to the rest of the family members to rush out of the house when the fire started on Tuesday night.

“A few moments later the entire shanty caught alight and everything was destroyed. They were basically left with the clothes on their backs. Luckily, no one was injured,” said Jacobs.

“They did not even have time to grab their cellphones before they ran to my house. Our grandmother is visiting from Johannesburg and she also lost everything that she brought along.

“The children lost all their school books and are busy with semester tests.”

Jacobs added that the family would now have to “rebuild from scratch”.

“My sister invested a lot in her home and everyone admired the double-storey shanty on the corner of the street. Now the family will have to rebuild it from scratch.”

Jacobs said that family members and friends had assisted by donating clothing and food.

“We are thankful for any form of assistance.”

The manager of emergency services at Sol Plaatje Municipality, Tinus Pretorius, said that the fire department attended to the blaze on Tuesday night.

“The wife was busy cooking food on a gas stove, where her husband had recently replaced the cylinder head. The cylinder head ignited as it was not properly connected and that consequently sparked the fire. The fire spread throughout the whole shanty,” said Pretorius.

He added that the municipality was in the process of rebuilding the shanty.

“We have spoken to disaster management and Sassa to provide the family with food parcels. Fire management will hand over blankets and mattresses once the structure has been erected. In the meantime the family is residing with relatives.”