A Manenberg ouma risked her life to save her family.
But her relief turned to disappointment when heartless skelms stole from her as she tried to save her home.
Rudayba Attwood, 55, says the fire broke out in her son’s Wendy house and knew she had to act quickly to ensure her children and grandchildren were evacuated safely.
The blaze, which started at about 11am on Tuesday, moved from the hokkie to the main house.
“I was in the room watching TV and I heard screams from neighbours saying my son’s Wendy house was on fire. I ran to the door and saw the flames, but I was worried we were going to be trapped inside,” she explains.
The brave ouma says she grabbed her daughter, daughter-in-law and grandchild and got them out of the top floor maisonette before rushing to get a hosepipe.
“I can’t even remember where I got it from, but I connected it to the kitchen sink and started putting the fire out,” says Rudayba.
“Everyone came out to help put the fire out, but the smoke was too much. I was scared I wouldn’t get out in time so I jumped out of the bathroom window.”
Fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse confirmed: “One informal structure was completely destroyed by the fire, one room in each of the flats were damaged and both sustained smoke damage. No injuries were reported.”
Rudayba says when they went back into the house after the fire was extinguished, she realised opportunistic skelms had stolen various items from her home.
“While some people were helping, some people came to steal. They took a pair of Jordan takkies, jewellery and a computer hard drive,” she says.
“I got a skrik to see that they even carried the fridge from the kitchen to the room.
“My son Adiel lost all his belongings in the fire including the school clothes of his seven-year-old child.
“The main house is OK as it was only smoke damage, but the Council said they would be replacing the roof.”
If you would like to assist the family, call Rudayba on 076 266 8080.
Meanwhile, four people died in two separate fires in Strand and Langa on Wednesday morning.
Carelse said at 2.45am, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service first responded to informal structures alight in Saphepa Street, Nomzamo.
“One of them was completely destroyed and an adult male sustained fatal burn wounds.
“Then, at 4.55am, fire crews from Epping and Goodwood were alerted to a fire in Phase 2, PW Mama Way, where informal structures were burning.
“Bystanders informed the crews that there were people missing and when they searched the premises, firefighters found the bodies of two men and a woman.”