A fire at a block of flats in Bellville claimed the life of an 8-year-old boy and injured three people.
A woman is in a critical condition after suffering burns to almost two thirds of her body. Another woman has suspected spinal injuries after leaping from the burning third floor of Amdenhof Apartments, in Voortrekker Road, with an infant in her arms.
A man injured his leg while coming down the stairs.
Fire and Rescue’s Theo Layne said the fire on the third and fourth floors had broken out at about noon on Monday, and 24 firefighters had taken an hour to extinguish it.
“At the moment, we don’t know what is the cause of the fire,” he said, adding that an investigation had been started to find it.
The baby in the woman’s arms when she jumped wasn’t hurt.
Police cordoned off the entrance to the building.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Fienie Nimb said the fire had started in a third-floor flat.
Derek Bock, operations manager for the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District, said: “We, unfortunately, don’t know what happened, but people need to be extra safe when it comes to fires.
“Tenants must hold their body corporates to account about installing safety measures in buildings, to prevent tragedies like this happening.” The Daily Voice quoted a tenant, Carlos, who said the boy who died was called Nabien.
The man said he escaped the blaze with his three-year-old son.
“I was in my bedroom when I heard the screamsof women. When I opened the door, the flames were as high as the walls. I have never seen a fire like that in my life,” the man said.
In June a fire destroyed the OK Furniture Store near Middestad Mall, in Bellville (“Furniture store goes up in smoke,” Northern News, June 26).
No one was hurt in that incident. The fire was caused by men who were working on the roof with a blowtorch.