This Cape Flats ouma saved her entire family from a fiery death after she woke up twice to investigate a “smoke smell” in their house.
Verona Adonis, 45, and her family have been tenants in Elizabeth Crescent, Montrose Park, for the past seven years.
She shares the house with her husband Daniel, 45, sons Damien, 25, and Ashton, 11, daughter Kaylin, 21, and grandson Conray, two.
The family lost everything in the fire that broke out in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Verona tells the Daily Voice she woke up twice to a smoke smell in her bedroom.
“I woke up at 2.50am and I smelled smoke and started walking around the house,” she explains.
“After a while I went back to bed and told my husband that it must be another house or something else burning outside.
“I fell asleep and woke a second time. This time I went outside and saw it’s the storage place for the owner of the property, which has car engines and tyres inside, that was burning.
“My husband came outside and I began calling for everyone to get out now because the car engine and tyres would accelerate the fire.
“I was screaming at the top of my lungs and this made the neighbours come and help and the homeowner was also called.”
But it was only after Verona’s family stood outside the burning house that they realised her grandson was still asleep inside.
“I rushed inside the house with the child’s father [who lives close by] and he got the child,” she says.
Little Conray’s dad Bradley Constance, 25, adds: “The smoke was not thick at that stage and I found him still asleep on the bed.”
Verona says things could have been worse.
“If I didn’t wake up, we all would have died. It made me think of that family who died in Mitchells Plain,” she says, referring to eight family members who died in a fire at their home in MacBeth Street, Lentegeur, in June.
The City’s fire and rescue services spokesman, Theo Layne, says an electrical short caused the fire.
But Verona says: “What is strange for me is that the storage room doesn’t have electricity.”
If you can assist the family, please call Elizabeth on 084 345 0566.