A family stood helplessly and watched their house gutted by flames due to a lack of water in Zone 1 at Ezibeleni last Tuesday.
This was in spite of two trips made by the fire brigade to collect water in its attempts to extinguish the fire.
An occupant of the house, Mbali Sishuba, said the fire broke out before 5pm while she was resting next to her one-year-old baby.
Sishuba believed the fire began in a store room in the house, where she saw smoke coming from a mattress after she had gone to investigate when she smelt smoke.
“I had just returned from town when I smelt something was burning in the house at around 4.30pm. I noticed smoke coming from a mattress in the room. I went to get a bucket of water which I threw over it.
“I wondered how the smoke came from the store room because there were no electrical connections.
“My mother was at work and my nine-year-old brother had gone to a wedding.”
She said she was surprised when she heard crackling sounds about 20 minutes later.
“I did not think the sound came from inside the house, but two minutes later dark smoke entered the room. I immediately grabbed my baby and ran out.”
Her mother, Bulelwa, said: “The fire brigade made two trips which took an hour each. The fire fighters said they were going to look for a place to draw water in Ezibeleni.
“When they arrived at the scene the house was full of smoke without any visible flames.”
Police spokesperson Namhla Mdleleni said no case had been opened, but a report was issued to the police.
At the time of going to print EMLM spokesperson Gcobani Msindwana had not commented.