A brave Elsies River ouma has been left with third degree burns on her face after rescuing her grandson from a fire allegedly started by a power surge during load shedding.
Diane Fellies, 52, say they watched in horror as she braved the flames to carry the boy to safety on Wednesday morning.
Diane says she can hardly sleep due to the pain of her injuries to her face and arms caused by the blaze in her Leonsdale home.
“We were asleep and there was load shedding from 12am to 2am,” she tells the Daily Voice.
“I was sleeping with my grandchild Stephan upstairs.
“My son was sleeping downstairs and my daughter and her boyfriend were in another room.
“When the electricity came back, on there was a power surge and all we heard was the TV burst and the flames were everywhere.”
Daughter Simone says she woke up to screams from her mother: “She was holding Stephan and covered him running through the flames to get him out.
“That is why she was so badly burnt. My brother Lance and I ran back through the flames to get my mommy out.”
Diane says when they got to safety, they realised Simone’s boyfriend Robin Liberty, 28, had passed out from smoke inhalation.
“The gangsters came to help us and threw water over us to put the flames out, then they rushed to get Robin out.”
The family was taken to Tygerberg Hospital as firefighters attended to the blaze.
Fire and Rescue Service’s Jermaine Carelse, says the contents of the lounge including the lounge suite, hifi and TV were damaged.
The cause has not been determined, he added.
The family says when they returned home that evening after being discharged with bandages on their faces, they were informed that skelms had ransacked their gutted home, stealing clothes, cash and other valuables.
Now a devastated Diane is demanding answers from Eskom.
“We heard that inspectors from Eskom were here but we were at the hospital.
“I think this load shedding is bulls*** and Eskom needs to stand for this, all the pain and suffering and the damages. It could have been worse, I could have lost my whole family.”
Eskom’s Kyle Cookson, says: “Eskom’s technical officials were onsite and initiated an investigation to determine the cause of the incident and to establish whether Eskom equipment malfunctioned. The findings will be concluded in due course.”
He adds people should switch off appliances before or during load shedding to avoid cold load restoration when the power comes back on.