Narrow house

Help, child, 6, among five people who died in a house fire in Pretoria West

  • An aide died in the blaze that killed five people in Pretoria West on Friday.
  • The owner of the house managed to escape with her three-year-old child.
  • The families of the helper and the owner are devastated by the loss.

Family members of five, including a six-year-old who died in a house fire in the early hours of Wednesday in Pretoria West, are in shock and shock at the tragedy.

Among the five who died were Willid Pheme, 41, a home help, as well as the six-year-old and three men, aged 18, 22 and 24.

News24 previously reported that Pheme was 46, but further investigations revealed she was 41, authorities said.

Pheme was a household helper and lived with the 45-year-old woman and her five children.

The owner managed to escape the fire with her youngest child, aged three.

According to Tshwane emergency services, a call to respond to the fire was received around 1:30 am.

On their arrival, passers-by informed the firefighters that five people were still trapped inside the house.

A boy, three men and a woman died in the fire.

The owner who escaped with the three-year-old was treated on site for smoke inhalation and taken to Pretoria West hospital, emergency services said.

“We counted on her”

Pheme’s brothers as well as the owner’s relatives were at the scene Thursday morning, struggling to hold back tears as Gauteng’s Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, MEC Lebogang Maile, briefed them on ongoing investigations into the fire.

The MEC also informed the families that they would receive social support from the government.

Pheme’s younger brother Calvin told News24 he was devastated by the tragedy.

Recalling the turn of events, Calvin said his younger sister called him Wednesday morning and told him there had been reports of a fire in the house where their older sister worked.

They tried to call their sister, but her phone went unanswered.

READ | Five people die as Pretoria house catches fire

Calvin said his younger sister then sent someone home. Upon arrival, the person found neighbors and authorities there and learned that two people had been taken to hospital and that others had died.

The brother said he and his younger sister tried to locate their sister, hoping it was she who was taken to hospital. They were then informed that she was among the five who died.

Pheme, from Limpopo, had been cleaning the family home for about a year, Calvin said.

His family told Maile they wanted to bury him in Limpopo and asked for government support for the arrangements.

Calvin said:

What happened is truly heartbreaking. We will always remember her for her efforts to make our family happy. We counted on her and she brought us joy.

Family already in mourning

Meanwhile, Kwena Dladla, the niece of the owner’s late husband, said her family were also in shock and disbelief – especially since they were still in mourning.

Dladla said they recently buried her uncle and will now bury her four children.

“I received a call from a cousin who stays in Delmas. She is far away and as I am staying in Mamelodi Est, she asked me to [come] and check because she got a call from my uncle’s wife that she is burning with the kids, ”Dladla said.

She added that her cousin had informed her that her aunt was going to the hospital.

Dladla said she went to the hospital and found her aunt there.

“She [the aunt] told me that she had just heard her four boys and the nanny screaming for help, ”she said.

Dladla added that her aunt asked the neighbors for help and managed to escape through a window before being taken to hospital.

By that time, the other five were already dead, she added.

“We are very traumatized. This is the first time in my life that I have experienced this. We buried my uncle in July and so we still mourn my uncle and now it is happening. We are shocked. It is so sad.” , she said.

Dladla said she arrived at the scene around 8:00 a.m. and that police and other authorities had finished searching the scene and the occupants of the house had been evacuated.

Threatens the investigation

Maile said details of the cause of the fire were vague and law enforcement authorities were conducting preliminary investigations.

“We would like to urge everyone not to speculate on what happened. What we know for sure is that this is a tragedy. It is very sad and heartbreaking. We are came here to convey our sincere condolences to the two families of the wizard and the siblings who passed away, ”said Maile.

Maile also said they would visit the mother and her child in the hospital to monitor them.

Officials from Tshwane town, SASSA and provincial disaster management accompanied Maile on the visit.

READ ALSO | “It would have been daddy’s birthday” – Cape Town family in mourning after parents, 8 year old daughter, died in fire

Speculation was rife that the fire could have been caused by a load shedding, but Maile said he would not comment on it as police were handling the investigation.

He said the goal should be to provide survivors and their families with psychosocial support and ensure the deceased have a dignified funeral.

Emergency services spokesman Charles Mabaso said a “determination of the cause of the fire” had been made and the fire services were working closely with police.

“This is considered a crime scene and we wouldn’t want to narrow the scope of the investigation. We want to keep it as wide as possible, not to miss out on valuable information that could jeopardize the investigation,” Mabaso said.

He added that law enforcement agencies should be allowed to continue investigating and disclosing information if necessary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.