Tough new year for family after fire

It was a traumatic start to the new year for a Mlungisi family, after a mysterious fire broke out at their home in R section on Monday morning, destroying all their belongings.

Owners of the house, Mxolisi and Nosive Kapa who were in Ezibeleni when the tragedy struck, said they had received a call from one of their neighbours just after 8am and later realised that the fire had started way before that time. “After many attempts by our neighbours to reach us, we had to rush to the house. We arrived after the fire fighters had left and there was still a little smoke,” said Nosive.

She added that customers buying from the spaza shop in the yard were the first to notice the smoke coming from the main house. “We suspect that the fire might have been caused by the recent power cuts or the electrical box might have exploded. The fire destroyed everything including goods at the spaza shop which belonged to a foreign national who was renting the space,” said an emotional Nosive who had to rush her husband, Mxolisi, to the doctor after the ordeal.

One of the tenants, Phumla Mnyamana, who rents a room in one of the backyard flats, indicated that the electricity had tripped three times in the early hours of Monday. “After this happened we were called and told the house was on fire. Neighbours flocked to help. A window was broken and people tried to extinguish the fire. Fortunately there was no damage to my belongings,” she said.

A neighbour who did not want to be named said he was informed of the incident by children he had sent to the spaza shop and rushed to the house to help. “We tried to stop the fire from spreading because we were worried it was going to affect the next door neighbour’s house as well. People brought their 20 litre buckets from their houses. Everything was destroyed in the main house.”

Councillor Mncedisi Mbengo said he visited the family on Monday and was informed that the fire had started around 6am. “I could not speak to the family on Monday because the owner was in a bad state. I discovered that there were unauthorised flats in the yard and a spaza shop attached to the main building. This is illegal and if investigations reveal that the shop had anything to do with the fire the family will have to open a case.” Mbengo said he was trying to get assistance for the family and a new electrical box for the tenants.

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