SAPA: Fire: Five siblings die locked in Durban shack

Fire: Five siblings die locked in Durban shack
03 Aug 2008

Five Durban siblings burnt to death when their shack caught alight in
the early hours of Saturday morning, the eThekwini fire department said.

Four teenagers, one carrying a baby, were unable to escape the flames in
the shack because the burglar gates on it were locked, said fire
department divisional commander Dennis Govender.

“The mother had locked the children [inside] and had gone out and this
is why the children were unable to escape,” he said.

The fire spread quickly and destroyed another 20 shacks in its path at
the Cato Crest informal settlement.

Govender said the siblings, four boys and a girl, were burnt beyond

He said a candle is believed to have fallen on a bed in the shack.

The mother apparently returned home after she heard other residents
screaming as their shacks caught on fire.

The mother was too traumatised to speak to media or to provide details
about the children’s ages to authorities on the scene.

Provincial paramedics treated her for shock.

No other injuries were reported, but families from the affected shacks
have been left displaced.