Ricochet News

VIDEO: Neighbour's kids playing with matches leave family of five homeless and destitute

By Afikile Lugunya - Jan 10, 2018
VIDEO: Neighbour's kids playing with matches leave family of five homeless and destitute

A family of five was left destitute after children playing with fire burnt down their home and everything they owned on Monday night. The incident happened in NU10, Motherwell, in Port Elizabeth.

The fire, which quickly got out of control, affected three adjacent yards. However, Don Nyumka and his family where the only family that lost everything including his kids' school uniforms and their car - besides their home.

According to eyewitness, Nomathemba Ncaba, the fire started in the afternoon after a child from next door used a window to enter the room with his friends and played with some matches in his uncle’s room.

“A woman from next door screamed ‘FIRE’, when I got out I saw smoke coming from the roof top, then we started to fill water in the baskets to stop the fire, unfortunately, it was too late," she said.

“The fire started from the shack at the back, then went to another shack that was at Nyumka’s yard, which was much closer to it, the car was also affected and a huge part of the house was on fire.

“We called other people to assist, therefore we managed to take out a few things from the lounge and a television, unfortunately, that is all we managed to take out as the roof of the house crumbled down before our eyes."

Ncaba’s son burned his hands while getting the television out of the house.

Nyumka said that the fire left them with only what they were wearing because all their belongings were destroyed.

“We don’t even have clothes to wear and a bed to sleep in, the only clothes we have are the ones we are wearing.

“My wife was sleeping when this happened because of the wind, they called me and when I got here everything was covered in coal and ashes,” he described.

Nyumka added that he slept in his mother’s house at NU13 where he said the rest of the family were going to sleep in until his house is rebuilt.

The child that started the fire stays next door, however, Nyumka doesn’t see it necessary to make them pay for everything.

“I won’t say that the children’s parents must pay for everything because this could have happened to anyone, it could have happened to me because I am also a parent.

Ward 55 councillor, Mzuvukile Boti, said that a temporary house was underway and ensured that more will be done to assist the family.

“We are sitting here discussing the issue of the fire, however, we will not have everything that they need, but I will make sure that when the schools re-open all the children do go to school and the uniform is there.

“We will deliver a temporary house not later than today, but we, as the ward committees and councillors, must support that family to makes sure that the children do go to school, there’s water etc,” Cllr Boti said.

The family is accepting any kind of donations, so if anyone is prepared to assist the family with anything they must call: 073 224 5114.

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