PERISHED: Owen Green, 63, from Mitchells Plain

The family of a 63-year-old man, who died in a fire at Groote Schuur Hospital, is asking where staff was when the blaze swept through the ward.

Owen Green, of Eastridge, Mitchells Plain, suffered from Tuberculosis - which had spread to his spine - and could not walk.

On Sunday just after 10pm, a fire broke out in ward G17 which claimed his life.

This week a witness revealed to the Daily Voice that a patient had been smoking a cigarette in the ward.

The smoker survived the blaze, but the witness said Owen perished because he was “on oxygen” and could not escape on his own.

Authorities could not confirm this, but indicated the ward was identified as a crime scene.

Yesterday, Owen’s grieving sister Farieda Green, 61, and her daughter Melissa Green, 38, said they cared for him because he had no wife and children.

Melissa explains: “Detectives from Woodstock Police Station came to our home on Monday just after 4pm and said he had died and we thought he had died because of his illness.

“We heard about the fire on the news, but we didn’t know it was him.

“We were told to be at the hospital on Tuesday and to see the CEO, who said he died in the fire.”

Farieda has many unanswered questions: “When the fire started, he could not get out. Where were the nurses? Where was the security?”

The family is also appealing for assistance with his burial while they wait for his autopsy results.

Darren Francis, of Western Cape Government Health, said they would wait until the police investigation was complete before taking any course of action.

If you can assist the family, call 063 051 7369.

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