The 30-year-old man, from Colorado Park, was arrested shortly after the blaze during the early hours on Tuesday, while the children’s mother, 27, allegedly ran away after the incident.
Zaytoon Brand, two, and her eight-month-old sister, Zaynoorah, burnt to death after their parents allegedly made a fire inside the Wendy house, left them inside and went to smoke tik.
Oupa Harold Adams, 65, says they are devastated by the children’s deaths. He woke up shortly after 2am to find the huisie engulfed in flames.
“I woke up because the lights were flickering. I went to one of the rooms and saw the flames right by the window. I ran to the Wendy house, but it was too late. I heard the explosions and knew they were dead,” the traumatised pensioner says.
Ouma Eleanor, 50, says shortly after the blaze was extinguished, the couple arrived home.
“They made a fire inside there we don’t know why and then they just left the children,” she says. "She ran away and they arrested my son. They left the house to go smoke drugs again and every time we try to help them, they just don’t listen. They are both smoking tik."
Police spokesperson, Captain FC van Wyk, confirmed the father’s arrest and says: “Allegedly the parents had left the children alone at home at the time of the incident.
“Police have arrested a 30-year-old male. A child neglect case was registered for investigation. The arrested suspect is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.
“The cause of the fire is unknown.”
Eleanor says the family is traumatised by the loss of the two girls, but believe the law must take its course.
“We are heartbroken that the two children have died. I hope that they (the parents) will learn now, but it is still very devastating for us,” she says.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the investigating officer Detective Constable Francois Jordaan on 076 250 5246 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.