Just as Katherine Swaarts stepped out her door to catch the train to work around 5am, screams from burning bungalows in her yard, grabbed her attention.
The fire, which gutted three bungalows on Tuesday August 27, left three Kuils River families homeless.
No one was hurt.
Ms Swaarts, who lives in her mother’s home in Apollo Street, Sarepta said four of her siblings had been living in structures in the backyard of the property for many years but since the fire, all 11 people including Ms Swaarts and her two sons have been crammed into the two-bedroom house.
“I don’t mind helping my family. Some of them are sleeping in the kitchen, the front room and most of the time we have to share the bathroom until we can rebuild the wendy houses,” she said.
She said that on Monday September 2, the seven children living on the property walked to Kalkfontein Primary School, dressed in casual clothes donated by community members because they had lost everything in the fire – including their school uniforms.
“These people have lost everything in the fire, even their ID books and Sassa cards. But people in our community have gathered some clothes for them to wear now,” she said.
While the cause of the fire has yet to be determined, Ms Swaarts said, “rumors were spreading that the bungalows were set alight”.
She could not explain why people were making such claims.
According to Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Edward Bosch, 14 firefighters responded to the call-out at 5:41am.
“It took firefighters more than an hour to extinguish the fire but fortunately 11 people were accounted for. The fire cause of the fire is undetermined,” said Mr Bosch.
If you can help the family, call Ms Swaarts on 074 526 8165.