A 34-year-old woman survived a fire which gutted her home in Zone 1, Ezibeleni, on Friday.
The fire broke after 9am when her partner, Siphelo Peter, was at a friend’s house.
Peter said he was chatting to a friend when one of his neighbours shouted that the house was burning. When he got up he saw the smoke and realised his partner might be inside the house.
“We ran to the house and I tried to enter through the garage, but the smoke was too intense. I headed towards the kitchen door and asked some men to assist me to kick that door open and to pull the burglar door open.
“My partner was in the kitchen and the smoke was choking her. The fire was beginning to spread in her direction.”
Fortunately the men succeed in getting the door open just in time for the victim to be pulled out. At that time some residents used buckets to try to put the fire out, but they could not save the car in the garage.
Peter said: We lost everything. Our personal documents and phones were burnt. I am still in pain.”
Rresidents were once again unhappy with the fire brigade, which they said took almost two hours to arrive on the scene.
By then the fire had already been put out.
One of the neighbours who saw the fire said the residents broke the windows to try and get into the house to save the woman, but because the house had burglar bars they were not able to get in.
She said: “The fire brigade only put out the smoke that was in the last room. We had already put out the fire.”
Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality spokesperson Lonwabo Kowa said the incident was reported at the Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) call centre and the message was immediately reported to Enoch Mgijima.
“Fire fighters were deployed without any delay. The CHDM fire engine was part of the fleet used. On arrival, the house, including the roof, was already engulfed in fire and it was not possible for firefighters to enter the house, but the fire was completely extinguished. A fire truck takes 15 to 20 minutes to get to Ezibeleni.”
Kowa said the challenge is that some communities take too long to respond to fire incidents.
He said the municipality currently has no fire engine and that there is an agreement with CHDM for EMLM to use its engine.
Police spokesperson Capt Namhla Mdleleni said no case had been opened.