Two children between the ages of four and seven have died after a fire engulfed a shack they were sleeping in Saturday night in Verulam north of Durban.
It’s believed the children were locked inside the shack when a candle fell on their bed.
Raging flames razed the tiny shack to ashes. Thando and Siya Zulu were asleep when the fire started.
The siblings fought to free themselves but could not pass the locked door.
Their father had left them to rush a relative who had been stabbed to hospital.
Neighbours heard screams as Siya and Thando tried to escape through a locked door. After a while, by the silence, it was evident that the flames had engulfed them.
“The fire flames grew and we were running out of options. I then ran to the house to fetch the axe as the door had a chain and lock. I tried to cut the chain but nothing happened. I could still hear the children calling for their mother. I screamed for the neighbours to come help. I told the neighbours that the children were dying,” says a neighbour.
Neighbours tried to put out the blaze.
“I got out the house to see what was happening. The first thing I saw was the huge flames. The fire was just too much. The children tried to escape. We also tried to help but we were also burnt by the fire. We couldn’t do anything at all,” says another neighbour Mandla Shinga.
Remains of the children’s bodies could still be seen when the SABC arrived.
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