A five-year-old child died screaming for help while he was locked inside his family’s burning home.
Little Achmat Davids could not open the door of their Wendy house in Montrose Park, Mitchells Plain, after flames engulfed the wooden structure.
His father Ebrahim tried his best to break down the structure to save his son, but it was too late.
On Tuesday, the child’s mother Mawadah, 43, had the heartbreaking task of identifying his burnt body in the morgue, while Ebrahim, 43, was being treated in hospital for serious burn wounds to his arms and back.
Achmat was home with his dad on Tuesday while his mom was at work and sisters went to school. Ebrahim apparently locked Achmat in when he went to get water from the main house.
The property, just off Morgenster Road, does not have a fence around it.
Neighbour, Shahieda Taliep, 54, says she heard a child’s frantic screams and went to investigate.
“I saw the fire and Ebrahim was already trying to break the place open. The fire was huge and I will never forget the way Achmat screamed for help. It was horrible,” she says crying.
“He was trying to unlock the door from inside but I think he forgot how to out of panic. By the time we broke open the front, Achmat was not there and we called to him, but he had run to the back.”
They all ran to the back and broke down the wall and found him on the floor.
Neighbour Johanna Beginsel says she picked him up.
“He lied still in my arms, badly burnt. I carried him out, but I knew then it was too late. He died a short while later. We were too late to save him,” says Johanna.
Achmat’s sister Saadiqah Brown, 23, was at the burnt house yesterday.
“I do not know what happened, but my brother is gone and his father, my stepfather, is badly burnt and in hospital. He cannot deal with the loss of his son.
“My mom is strong and went to the morgue. They have nothing left. My brother was the youngest and the only boy. I will miss him forever,” says Saadiqah.
The City’s Fire and rescue spokesperson Liezl Moodie says the fire may have been caused by an electrical fault.
“The cause of fire (is a) possible electrical fault. The incident was handed over to SAPS,” says Moodie.