A four-year-old girl who burnt to death when her family’s shack and several others caught fire in Benoni on Thursday morning had been home alone‚ Disaster & Emergency Management Services said.
“As per information on site‚ the toddler was still asleep when the mother left for work‚ the elder sister went to school and someone had to come collect the child later to [take her to] creche‚,” said spokesman‚ William Ntladi.
The little girl was believed to have been fast asleep when the bed she was in became engulfed in flames.
“Emergency Services received a call around 7.56am and immediately responded for intervention. Both Rynfield and Farrarmere fire stations’ firefighting crews arrived simultaneously with major and rescue pumps respectively on scene backed up by [a] water tanker from Boksburg. On arrival‚ eight shacks and a mechanical workshop nearby were already engulfed by flames‚” said Ntladi.
“During damping down‚ the remains of the toddler were discovered on what was a bed. She was burnt beyond recognition‚” Ntladi said.
The body and bed were among the rubble and ruins of the destroyed shacks.
The cause of the fire was yet to established but Ntladi said preliminary reports suggested that the fire was sparked by an illegal electrical connection.