Things we lost in the fire



July 12, 2016
Things we lost in the fire

GUTTED: Macbeth Street home. CREDIT: Manqoba Ngidi

Eastridge blaze survivors left without home.

A family who survived a tragic fire in which eight relatives died have been left homeless.

The family lived in a Wendy house at the back of the house in Macbeth Street, Eastridge, Mitchell’s Plain, which was gutted on June 11.

Heroic rescuers broke down their wooden structure to get to the burning house’s back wall, which they broke through to get to the people trapped inside.

Now Aubrain Japtha, 30, her fiancé Giovanni Simons, 31, and their three children aged 15, 10 and 10 months old, are homeless.

After the blaze, the remains of the Wendy house was removed from the property and the scene was declared hazardous and unfit for humans to inhabit.

Authorities say an electrical fault caused the devastating fire, which claimed the lives of Alfonso Swartz, 35, his daughter Tamia Swartz, 22 months, Tamia’s siblings Cameron Fredericks, six, Elmarie Fredericks, five, their cousins, siblings Nikita Abrahams, three, Joshua Abrahams, 13, Kyle Abrahams, 18, as well as their cousin Arafaat Madatt, 14.

Four other people, Patrick Abrahams, 54, the owner of the house and Giovanni’s uncle, who lost three children and three grandchildren, his ex-wife Verona Abrahams, 52, their daughters Gloria Abrahams, 31, Shanice Abrahams, 22, and friend Nawaal Erasmus, 23, and Lance Minnies, 16, who is still in hospital, survived the ordeal.

Aubrain and her family have now moved into her mom’s rented house in Eastridge for a limited time.

Aubrain and Giovanni are both unemployed.

While the couple is still reeling from the death of their relatives, they now have to worry about finding a new home, which they can’t afford.

“We lived for seven years on the property. On the morning of the fire, they had to break part of my Wendy house to reach Shanice and the others. The Wendy house was also broken apart afterwards,” Aubrain explains.

The worried mom says her little family face destitution.

“This is a rental property and my mother needs to move out in three months time,” she says sadly.

“We just want our own roof over our heads again, privacy, especially for our children. It has been a difficult time for us as family, we miss everyone (that’s died).”

If you can assist the family please contact them on 084 672 6565.

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