Critter Fires Fire Winter firefighters
Photo Credit: Pixabay via Pexels

The father, who was already severely burnt, ran into his home – which was on fire – to save his son.


Western Cape, South Africa (09 March 2022) – A father sustained serious burns while rescuing his four-year-old son from a shack fire in the BT section of Site C, Khayelitsha, in Cape Town. The fire started in his shack on Saturday morning before spreading to others. The blaze destroyed 27 homes.

The father, Ntemi Mthwesi, was rushed to Tygerberg Hospital. On Monday, his girlfriend, Yandiswa Hlelwe, said he remains in a critical condition.

Mthwesi was already burnt but ran into his home – which was on fire – to save his son. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Community leader Maxwell Plaatjie said fire victims rushed to the nearby Lansdowne Fire Station to fetch firefighters but were told they were busy elsewhere. The shack dwellers battled the blaze until firefighters arrived from another station.

Plaatjie said victims are in need of clothes and food.

On Sunday, Plaatjie and other fire victims were trying to rebuild their homes – they had settled in the area in 1995.

“We always hear that we would be moved somewhere [to housing], but it never actually materialises,” he said.

His wife, Lindelwa Plaatjie, said, “Our kids can’t go to school tomorrow as they now don’t have school uniforms and books.”

Resident Nomfusi Njamela said they struggled to get water to fight the blaze and used sand instead. There is only one standpipe located at Japhta Masemola Road outside the BT section, which serves about 200 families.

Njamela said she relies on government grants and has no money to buy materials to rebuild her shack.

On Monday, Plaatjie told GroundUp, “We are still struggling to pick up the pieces. Some don’t even have building nails or blankets. We still sleep at friends’ places.”

Charlotte Powell, spokesperson for the City’s Disaster Risk Management, said 59 people were displaced, and SASSA has been informed to provide humanitarian relief.

Father Rescues Son From Burning Home!
A fire on Saturday morning displaced 27 households in BT section of Site C, Khayelitsha in Cape Town. | Photo Cred: Vincent Lali

Sources: Ground Up 
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