Flames destroy a house in Deelkraal

The passage used to escape.
The passage used to escape.
The tenant and victim, Mary Mosia (60).

The tenant and victim, Mary Mosia (60).

A mother and daughter were lucky to escape uninjured when their house in Deelkraal was almost razed to the ground around 03:00 on 26 June.

According to Mary Mosia, who has been a tenant there for ten years, the fire started in the bedroom where her 34-year-old daughter was sleeping. She woke up to find the mattress on fire and managed to flee through the black, blinding smoke. Her mother was awoken by her screams and, although the daughter’s hair was burnt, she sustained no injuries.

The women were able to escape from the house that was now engulfed in flames. One of the neighbours alerted the Elandsrand Fire Department. Even though the tenants were left with little more than the clothes on their backs, the landlords have allegedly not shown any concern to the family.

Mosia is now staying at her daughter’s house. She says there had been issues with the house, even before the fire. The owner had allegedly given the tenants notice to move out because he wanted to use the building as an office, but they refused. He then had to erect a wooden structure next to it as an office.

Apparently, another issue arose when electricity was cabled from the house. Mosia says that she found people connecting electric cables from the office to the house in March. While the exact cause of the fire is unknown, the resulting current overload might have caused it.

According to her, she has received no compensation. “I am 60 years old and I have lost everything after years of hard work. I have nightmares of burning houses. I have been traumatised by the incident,” she says.

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