Neighbours winch gate open to rescue KZN family from house fire

Two of the family members were seriously injured in the fire, which is believed to have been caused by load-shedding.

A family of five in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal were saved from a blaze early this morning after quick thinking from neighbours allowed access to their house.

Just after 03:00, a home on High Street in KwaDukuza’s Ocean View area – known as the Glass House – caught alight, trapping its inhabitants.

When neighbours noticed the flames, they rushed to help but initially found it impossible to enter the property.

“The house was very well secured, and the family were unable to open the gate for access. Neighbours grabbed a car winch and started to tear down the main gate and palisade fence,” says IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson, Dylan Meyrick.

The slam lock gate on the main door of the house also had to be winched.

Photo: IPSS Medical Rescue.

 

Once the home was accessible, KwaDukuza fire officers and neighbours worked together to save the family. One person was critically injured, another sustained serious injuries, while three other members of the family escaped with minor injuries.

It is understood that two family members on the ground floor were most seriously injured, including an elderly man who was in critical condition when transported to hospital by paramedics.

“Both of those on the ground floor had significant burn wounds and smoke inhalation, while the elderly man also had a cardiac issue. They were stabilised before being taken to a specialised facility,” says Meyrick.

The remaining three members of the family were on the first floor and were able to escape serious injury by jumping from the balcony.

The house was destroyed in the blaze, with the KwaDukuza Fire Department able to prevent further spread to other homes.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, but it is believed to have been caused because of load-shedding.

Photo: IPSS Medical Rescue.

 

KwaDukuza experienced load-shedding from 01:00 – 03:00, matching the timeline of the fire which is thought to have started when power came back on.

The KwaDukuza Fire Department warns residents to be extra cautious when load-shedding is scheduled, citing an increase in fires when there are increased outages.

The department says multiple fires have recently been recorded after pool pumps, appliances and inverters malfunctioned once power was restored.

Older cables at plug points were at particular risk of catching alight, says the department.

This aside from the increase in fires caused by candle use, for which there has naturally been greater need in the past year.

 

Read original story on northcoastcourier.co.za

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