Mother and toddler tragically die in Gauteng township fire

It is suspected the fire was caused by their heater, which was not switched off before load-shedding was implemented in their area.

A fire in Boipatong, Vanderbijlpark, has claimed the lives of 40-year-old Thandi Madlanga and her two-year-old toddler Rethabile. A third victim, Madlanga’s partner, Molifi Kubu (50), was hospitalised after sustaining burns.

The incident happened in the early hours of yesterday, at an outside room where the family of three lived together.

Speaking to Sedibeng Ster, Molifi’s sister, Meiki (66), says she was woken up by Molifi, telling her that Madlanga and the child wouldn’t wake up.

“When I went into the room, I also tried to wake them, but they wouldn’t wake up. I also noticed that the room had burned.

“I suspect that the cause of the fire is the heater. There was load-shedding last night, and I suspect they forgot to switch off the heater before going to sleep. When the lights came back, the heater was still on, that’s how the room caught fire. Their TV, microwave, and cupboards burned.

“I thought I was dreaming when Thandi and the child wouldn’t wake up. We are really heartbroken and disturbed by what has happened,” she states.

Police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi confirmed the incident.

“It is reported that the family of three was caught in a fire inside their residence. The mother and daughter were certified dead on the scene while the father was hospitalised with burn wounds.”

Nevhuhulwi says an inquest case docket was opened for investigation.

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