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Family ‘loses everything’ in fire

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The fire brigade did arrive shortly afterwards, but that they too could do little to save the shack

DISASTER: Richard Beaton rummages through his charred belongings hoping to find tools that he might still be able to use. Picture: Soraya Crowie

A KIMBERLEY man and his family lost “everything they owned” when their shack burned to the ground yesterday morning.

Richard Beaton, 69, said he could “only watch” as his shack and all the family’s belongings were reduced to ashes during a fire that broke out in the shack at around 7am yesterday morning.

Beaton lives with his 27-year-old daughter, Richardene Beaton, two minor children and a six-month-old baby.

“I was standing in the street when someone shouted that something was burning. When I came around the corner I saw smoke coming from my shack. Neighbours tried to extinguish the fire but the water trickling from the taps was not enough to prevent the rapid spread of the flames. I could only watch as my house burned to the ground. There was nothing I could save,” Beaton said.

He added that the fire brigade did arrive shortly afterwards, but that they too could do little to save the shack.

No one was inside the shack during the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The children who reside there had already left to go to crèche.

Beaton said that he had “no idea” how the fire started, as there was no open flame inside at the time.

Community members assisted in searching through the charred remains for any valuables that might have survived the fire, but Beaton indicated that he “lost everything”.

“There is nothing left. We lost everything. All documents, clothes, furniture and appliances have been destroyed. I don’t know how we will go on or even where we will sleep tonight. It is a complete disaster.”