Family homeless after petrol bomb attack



July 14, 2016
Family homeless after petrol bomb attack

DEVASTATED: Mom Christina Marthinus, 42, lost everything. CREDIT: Patrick Louw

Nine people lost their home after it was 'bombed by mistake'.

A fire thought to have been started by a petrol bomb has left nine people homeless, including a tiny two-week-old baby.

It is believed the petrol bomb was meant for another house when it landed on a Wendy house in Selati Street, Eerste River.

Mom Christina Marthinus, 42, who gave birth to her seventh child, Cailey, two weeks ago, woke to smoke and flames.

Her boyfriend had already left for work and a bare-foot Christina quickly alerted her eldest daughter, Lehandre, 18, who managed to get her six siblings to safety.

The devastated mother says the Wendy house and all their belongings were destroyed “within a few minutes”.

“It was just before 8am when I woke to the smell of smoke inside the house,” she explains.

“When I came to the cupboard in the kitchen which only has clothing in it, I saw flames.

“I thought this is very strange because I do not have any wires or anything electrical inside there.”

The heartbroken mom adds: “There wasn’t even time to save anything.”

Lehandre says she had to think fast as the fire spread rapidly: “The flames were just growing and I just grabbed the children.”

Little Cailey was examined on the scene by paramedics and luckily suffered no smoke inhalation.

Christina received medical attention when she fainted.

She says it’s a mystery how the fire started.

“People living at the back of the property said they received a call or a message that the petrol bomb was meant for another home and that it landed on my home accidentally. But I still do not understand how a cupboard can be burning from the inside.”

The owner of the property, who asked not to be identified, says she cannot comment on the allegations.

Mayoral Committee member for Community Safety, JP Smith, had been on a visit in the area when he spotted the flames and called emergency services.

“Some young men claim the fire might have been caused by a person throwing a stun grenade or petrol bomb at a building and that it fell onto the Wendy house in the vicinity,” he says.

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