Bonita Bruyn, 53

Bonita Bruyn, 53, and her 74-year-old mother had been visiting family while her 18-year-old daughter was at a friend’s when their home in Sunflower Street, Hillview was gutted on Sunday.

Bonita is a Grade one teacher at Levana Primary School in Lavender Hill and has been teaching for the past 12 years.

Her husband, Eldrid Bruyn, was in the loo when the fire broke out.

He tried to extinguish the flames, but was overcome and became trapped in the burning house.

He was rescued by a neighbour, who broke down a gate and a door to get to him.

Eldrid was hospitalised for two days after suffering smoke inhalation and burning his mouth.

Bonita says she could only watch in horror as her home went up in flames.

“I could not believe it, I had literally only left home a few minutes before it started. As I drove to the house, I saw the flames and I watched the house we worked so hard for go down. We lost all our furniture and our roof has to be completely replaced,” the mom says, with tears brimming in her eyes.

Theo Layne, of the City’s Fire and Rescue Service, says 12 firefighters responded to the fire at 8.36am on Sunday.

“No injuries or fatalities were reported. The probable cause of the fire is undetermined.”

Bonita’s neighbour, John Nicholson, says everyone in the community are now pitching in to help the family start over after the ordeal.

“They need paint, roof sheets and trusses. All their furniture was burnt.”

If you can assist the family, please contact Bonita on 074 767 1485.