NATIONAL NEWS - A man and his toddler died in a blaze of fire in Ramaphosa informal settlement near Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, after his shack was gutted by flames at around 05:00, on 26 December.
Two of his children escaped with minimal injuries.
DEMS spokesperson William Ntladi said the City of Ekurhuleni emergency services firefighters from Boksburg Fire Station swiftly responded to the scene immediately after receiving the call for intervention.
He said on arrival, the one-roomed shack was still gutted by fire. Neighbours tried to extinguish it with water, using a bucket brigade system.
“Firefighters took over and the blaze was extinguished in no time.
“On investigations led by information on scene, charred bodies of the father in his forties and a three-year-old baby girl were found under the remains of the shack. Paramedics on scene declared both dead before the scene was handed over to the police for further investigations,” Ntladi said.
He went on to add: “It is alleged that the father deliberately set the shack alight with all three children still inside. The other two children, aged five (girl) and seven (boy) managed to escape. They apparently screamed for help and when neighbours intervened, the father locked himself and the three-year-old toddler behind the door and set the shack alight.
“Frantically, neighbours tried to open the door to save both from the horror of fire, but it was too late.”
The two survivors were transported by ambulance to Bertha Gxowa Hospital in Germiston for medical and psychological treatment.
The South African Police Services officers received the crime scene from firefighters and started with their investigations and the removal of the bodies to an appropriate pathological facility.