Brother saves baby sister from shack fire

Simbongile Mnyaka (left) saved his two-year-old sister from their burning home. Photos: Zolani Sinxo

GEORGE NEWS - Simbongile Mnyaka emerged as a hero on Tuesday 18 April after he saved his 2-year-old sister from a blaze of fire that engulfed their home in Zone 7 Thembalethu.
 
Mnyaka (18) was sleeping in his room when he was woken by the smell of smoke, he said, and when he started to get up off the bed the smoke was everywhere and the only thing he could think about at that moment was his sister.
 
"I looked for my sister and grabbed her and ran straight out of the door. At the time I didn't care what was in front of me, my sister was my priority. I brought her to safety and tried to get back inside the house to save some of our belongings; however, the fire was already too big," said Mnyaka.
 
Mnyaka lived in a big shack that was divided to accommodate three families. His family was at work when this happened.
 
The fire destroyed everything they owned, but thanks to Mnyaka's bravery and quick thinking, his 2-year-old sister escaped the blaze safely.
 
According to Chantel Edwards-Klose, George Municipal spokesperson, the George Fire Brigade was called in after the fire started about 8:15 in the morning. "The informal structure was completely destroyed by the fire, but the quick action of the fire brigade prevented the fire from spreading to surrounding structures," she said. Though Edwards-Klose said the cause of the fire is unknown, Mnyaka believes that it started in the electrical meter box.
 
Mziwonke Silo who lived at the house and was at work at the time, said that to come back home and find you don't even have a house is painful.
 
"I am happy that everyone managed to get out alive; the worst could have happened. We now have to rebuild our lives starting from nowhere. Everything burned down - what was left for us is only the clothes that we are wearing," said Silo.
 
Sivuyile Dlikilili, Ward 9 councillor, has urged members of the public to please help the family with anything they can donate. The number of people who lived in the shack was about eight.
 
"I have consulted with the municipality, asking that they build the families temporary structures, but the families will still need food, clothing and other essentials as they start to rebuild their lives," said Dlikilili.
 
Anybody who wants to make a donation can contact Silo on 071 777 0721 or Dlikilili on 060 393 8239.
 
 
Mziwonke Silo said they have lost everything in the fire.  
 
 
What is left of a home that used to house three families...
 
ARTICLE & PHOTOS: ZOLANI SINXO, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST 
 
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