Fire survivor home at last



September 19, 2016
Fire survivor home at last

RETURN: Henry Minnies carries his son Lance, 16 into their home in Eastridge. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

Teen spent four months in hospital after suffering extensive burns in a fire that killed eight.

A Mitchells Plain teen, who survived a fire in which eight people were killed, has finally gone home after four months in hospital.

Lance Minnies, 16, who suffered 99 percent burns to his body, spent two days with his family but was back in Tygerberg Hospital last night.

Lance arrived home in Eastridge wrapped in bandages, and had to be carried inside by his dad Henry Minnies, 46.

And the first thing he wanted to do was go for a haircut by his favourite barber, Jiggy.

“I feel good,” Lance said before getting his fader.

“I missed my cousins very much. It wasn’t easy for me in hospital but I survived it, I made it.”

Lance got a big hug from his little brother, Yornick, four, who he hasn’t seen since the night of the fire.

The Grade 11 pupil at AZ Berman High School was visiting his friend in Macbeth Street, Eastridge, when the deadly fire broke out, claiming the lives of seven children and an adult.

Four other people, including Patrick Abrahams, 54, the owner of the house who lost three children and three grandchildren, survived.

Lance was rushed to hospital in a coma, where doctors kept him alive with machines.

The teen also lost two of his toes and the tips of four toes while recovering in hospital.

Over the weekend, neighbours, family and friends visited Lance, commenting on how “healthy and plump” he looked.

Lance shares a bedroom with his parents and six other siblings aged between four and 25.

Mom Rita says she’s overjoyed because a void has been filled inside their home.

“I am happy to have him here with us, even if it is just for the weekend,” she says.

“It was a big loss in the house because we missed him very much.”

Rita says doctors will carry out another procedure on Monday to reattach loose skin on his feet.

Henry adds this is his best birthday gift: “I celebrated my 46th birthday on September 15 and this is a birthday present for me to have my son with us.”

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