Goodwood woman, toddler die in fire

A Goodwood man claims his fiancée started the fire in which she and their toddler son were killed in the early hours of Monday July 25.

Pascal Kabi lost his two-year-old son, Joshua, and fiancée, Mimi Kyaba, in the blaze at their home in McDonald Street, Goodwood.

According to Mr Kabi, the fire was started by Ms Kyaba because of an argument they had had on Friday July 22 about one of the other tenants they shared their home with.

Mr Kabi and Ms Kyaba had been living at the house for eight years. They collected rent from the other tenants for the owner of the house.

Mr Kabi said he had not spoken to Ms Kyaba from Friday until Sunday and last spoke to her after lunch when he told Ms Kyaba that he was going to the main road to gamble.

“I told her that I would be back later the afternoon. Before I left she asked me to buy nappies, mealie meal and electricity,” said Mr Kabi.

He said he told Ms Kyaba that he didn’t have enough money for everything but he was going to buy the nappies and electricity in the meantime, which he said, she agreed to.

Around 6pm, said Mr Kabi, he and Ms Kyaba argued on the phone.

“I didn’t go home until 2am in the morning in order to avoid any further arguments,” said Mr Kabi.

At home, Mr Kabi said he walked to the cupboard to get dressed for bed and when he turned around, Ms Kyaba doused the room with petrol and set it alight.

“All I wanted to do was save my son. I felt so helpless after I heard one scream from my child, and then he was gone,” said Mr Kabi.

He said he tried to help get Ms Kyaba out of the fire, but she refused assistance. She was rushed to hospital where she died due to serious burn wounds.

Mr Kabi said his son and fiancée would be laid to rest this weekend, but said he was unable to provide more details.

Captain Waynne Theunis, spokesman at Goodwood police station, confirmed that the incident took place on Monday July 25. He said police were investigating a case of murder.

The registered owner of the house is Al-Anwar Investments. Ganief Harris, one of the directors at Al-Anwar Investments, said they had heard about the fire from the people who are in the process of buying the property. Mr Harris said they are busy fixing the damages through an insurance claim.

Theo Layne from the City’s Fire and Rescue services confirmed the fire took place on Monday July 25 at 2.37am. He confirmed the death of the two- year-old boy, and said that a woman suffered severe burns which was treated on the scene, before she was transported to hospital.

Mr Layne said the probable cause of the fire was an electric heater that was left unattended and ignited combustible material through radiated heat. Mr Layne explained they carried out a preliminary investigation, where they found a heater located in the area where the fire could have possibly started. This indicated the possibility of the ignition source being a heater.