GUTTED: Philippi shack

Xolani Ntsengu tried in vain to save his son and his son’s girlfriend from a fire that engulfed their shack in Bhobhoyi Street, Philippi, on Monday.

Xolani saw flames coming from the shack where Azile Ntsengu, 26, stayed with his girlfriend Nosipho and he rushed out to rescue them, but the spare key could not open the safety gate to their shack.

Fire and Rescue’s Liezl Moodie says when firefighters arrived at the scene, the couple were declared dead.

The heartbroken dad says he thinks the cause of the fire could have been an electrical heater left unattended when the couple went to sleep.

“This is a tragedy and no one saw it coming. The family is saddened, heartbroken and it will take time to come to terms with his death,” he says.

The fire had also spread to an adjoining shack where Xolani’s younger son Aviwe, 17, was sleeping.

Aviwe was taken to hospital for treatment.