Two children perish in fire after using hot plate for warmth

04 July 2017 - 15:05
By Jeff Wicks
Image: Gallo Images/ IStock

Two children who were using a hotplate for warmth burnt to death in a fire which gutted their home in the Congo informal settlement outside Durban on Monday night.

The charred remains of the brother and sister‚ aged five and seven years respectively‚ were found in the burnt out shell of the room.

An emergency worker who was the first to respond‚ who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media‚ told TimesLIVE that firefighters had found a portable two-plate stove in the centre of the room.

“Once the fire was put out completely they went into the room and found the two-plate stove. We think the children were using it for warmth on the bed when it caught fire‚” the source said.

“The fire spread quickly through the single room. The children were unable to get outside and they died in the room‚” he added.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said that one child‚ whose age was unknown‚ managed to escape the blaze.

“One child whose age is unknown sustained injuries and was taken to hospital for medical attention‚” he said.

“The cause of fire is unknown and an inquest docket has been opened for investigation at Inanda police station‚” he added.