GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - Eden Lions Club member, Dolly Subramoney is in the ICU of George Provincial Hospital after she and two friends narrowly escaped from their burning chalet at the Cango Retreat outside Oudtshoorn.
Subramoney, the Eden Lions Club secretary René Mouton, and a friend, Delene Pillay, had decided on a breakaway weekend to celebrate friendship around National Women's Day, and were not expecting it to end in disaster.
Their chalet caught fire in the early hours of the morning, just after they had gone to sleep.
Pillay and Subramoney slept in the bedroom of the one-bedroomed chalet, and Mouton on the sleeper couch in the lounge area.
Pillay said she woke up between 01:00 and 02:00 and saw flames on the porch. "I began shouting to Dolly to wake up, there was a fire on the porch. We rushed to the living room and I woke René up.
"Dolly opened the door to the deck area and this caused the fire outside to engulf the room. I screamed to them to hold on to me. I was thinking that the only escape would be the window in the bedroom and I was praying to the Lord that there would be no burglar bars."
They were fortunate that there were none and Pillay smashed the window with her hands, climbed through and helped her friends get out too.
Subramoney, who was the last to get through, was badly burnt.
Mouton's car that was parked at the side of the chalet where they scrambled through the window, was also engulfed in flames and burned out.
"René and I started running and waking up others in the resort," said Pillay.
The occupants of two neighbouring chalets escaped before their chalets also burned down. They managed to move their cars in time.
An ambulance and the fire brigade were called and the three women were taken to the Oudtshoorn Hospital from where they were transferred to George Hospital. Pillay and Mouton were treated for minor cuts and burns.
"I suffered a severe cut over one wrist from smashing the window," said Pillay.
Subramoney is being treated for fourth degree wounds.
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