News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday April 21st 2018

Mom and baby die in shack fire

Zingisile Senteni  and Richard Magcinyana narrowly escaped being killed in a blaze that killed a mom and her 10-day-old baby and badly burnt the father in JoeSlovo Park squatter camp near Milnerton on Saturday (February 6). Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN.

Zingisile Senteni and Richard Magcinyana narrowly escaped being killed in a blaze that killed a mom and her 10-day-old baby and badly burnt the father in JoeSlovo Park squatter camp near Milnerton on Saturday (February 6). Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN.

A ferocious blaze swept through Joe Slovo Park informal settlement near Milnerton on Saturday, killing a woman and her 10-day old baby and injuring the father.

The fire destroyed five shacks, leaving 15 people, including mothers and children, homeless.

City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Theo Layne described the injured man’s condition as “red”.

At the scene on Saturday morning, shocked and grieving neighbours surrounded the shack where the mom and her baby had burnt to death.

Richard Magcinyana (51) was one neighbour who narrowly escaped being burnt to death.

He started choking in his sleep due to thick smoke in his one-room shack he shared with his wife. He woke up to see flames licking his shack walls, upon which he grabbed his wife’s hand and fled outside to safety.

He was wearing only his underpants when he fled from the flames and hi neighbours gave him the clothes to wear.

He said he lost all his belongings including his ID.

“I run out only wearing my underwear. Some people feeling sorry for me gave me the clothes I’m wearing to cover myself,” cried Magcinyana.

Zingisile Senteni (27) was rescued by his best friend who kicked his shack door open and pulled him to safety.

When he was outside the shack he saw the flames engulfing his home but he had to go back in to fetch his ID, the only thing he was able salvage.

Senteni and Magcinyana are both unemployed and said the blaze had left them heart broken and it would not be easy to rebuild from scratch.

Layne said the blaze gutted five shacks, killing a mother and her baby while the father was badly burnt.

He said the cause of the fire is unknown and is being investigated.

Senteni said the fire started in the deceased mother’s shack but noone knew what caused it. – Peter Luhanga/WCN

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