Inquest opened after men burnt

TRAGEDY: The remains of a shack after a fire broke out, killing two men, in Unifound, Mlungisi recently Picture: ZINTLE BOBELO

Police have confirmed that a fire which burnt down a shack, claiming the lives of two men in Unifound, Mlungisi, was under investigation.

The bodies of the friends, Luzuko Hiliza and Sandile Reni, who were last seen entering a shack situated in Kununu Jeffrey Hiliza’s back yard were, according to eyewitnesses, unidentifiable.

Owner of the house and uncle of one of the deceased, Hiliza, said the two men had tried to light a candle when they both arrived around 6pm on July 9. “They went straight to the shack at the back. I reprimanded them because I could tell they were under the influence of something, then went back to the house. Hours later I heard a neighbour shouting that there was a fire. We got up and indeed the shack was on fire,” he said.

Hiliza added that they tried to get water to extinguish the fire because both men were trapped inside.

“We kicked the door open as it was locked from inside. We used stored water from our buckets because there was no water in the taps. The blaze was too strong. The fire fighters arrived and put the fire out. They were both unidentifiable.”

Hiliza said his wife was still traumatised by the incident and refused to go to the back yard as she feared reliving the trauma.

“There were no cries, we did not hear any sounds or screams. They might have inhaled the smoke.”

Reni’s grandmother, Elsie Klaas, said they were informed about the incident the same night. “I do not know how it all started. They could have been saved if we had water in Unifound. I even told the councillor that the non-availability of water in this area was a problem,” she said.

Police spokesperson captain Namhla Mdleleni said Mlungisi police opened an inquest after two males aged between 30 and 35 were burnt in a shack.

Both families indicated that funeral arrangements would be made after the DNA process was completed.

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