Mystery surrounds the cause of a fire which led to the death of a young couple in Factreton on Monday.
The bodies of Darren Langtry, 32, and his girlfriend Nikita Lund, 24, were discovered in their flatlet by concerned relatives shortly after 9am.
Darren’s devastated father, Quintin, 58, says they became worried when his son failed to leave for work on Monday.
“Nikita is a student and Darren runs his own welding business,” the dad says.
“My sister told me she had not seen them on Sunday as they live in a separate entrance behind the house in Soldaat Plein but I did not worry at the time as I thought maybe they were just spending the day indoors.
“On Monday morning, my sister called me and said Darren’s car was still there and that is when we became concerned and I went there.”
He says a relative opened the safety gate and found that the couple’s room was blacked out.
“It appears there was a fire in the room but as the window was closed, it may have died out,” says Quintin.
“To me it appears that they died of smoke inhalation as their bodies were not burnt and it did not appear that they were trapped inside.
“Darren was in a sleeping position.”
City Fire and Rescue Services’ Jermaine Carelse says they received the call for help at 9.33am.
“Fire crews from Epping and Goodwood were dispatched to the scene,” Carelse says.
“Both the adult male and female appear to have been overcome by smoke.
“The bodies were found in a flatlet and damages sustained were concentrated to the bedroom area.
“Metro personnel certified them deceased and the scene was handed over to the South African Police Service for further investigation.”
SAPS’ Joseph Swartbooi says a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.
Quintin described the couple as inseparable and says rumours that a gas heater was left on are incorrect.
“There was a small heater but if it caught fire it would have been melted. It wasn’t even on.
“We are devastated by their deaths and nobody knows what really started the fire.”
Kensington Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson Cheslyn Steenberg says the community was shocked by the incident and held a small candlelight vigil for the couple.
“It was very tragic and we know that there is lots of speculation but we call on people to be mindful of the grieving families at this time and to allow the investigation to be completed first,” he says.