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By Hein Kaiser


Alleged lover’s quarrel blamed for destructive blaze in Laezonia

Two people were critically injured.

Several homes were destroyed and two people critically injured when a fire devoured cottages on a smallholding in Laezonia, north of Johannesburg, on Friday night. 

Details remain sketchy but, according to neighbours, the blaze was allegedly caused by a lover’s quarrel.

“Late on Friday night a woman arrived home from a night out, (allegedly) inebriated and (allegedly) attacked her elderly husband while he was watching television,” said a resident.

She allegedly doused her partner with petrol and set him alight which, in turn, saw their home catch fire and, subsequently, other cottages.

The dwellings were built close to one another.

“Early on Friday evening, our Centurion Crew responded to a tragic house fire in Laezonia,” said non-profit ambulance service CERT on its Facebook page.

“Two individuals were rescued from the flames, stabilised on-site, and transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition due to serious burns,” it read.

“Tragically, the fire claimed the lives of a beloved cat and dog, leaving the home entirely destroyed.”

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Collateral damage

By Saturday morning, the true extent of the damage In Laezonia was clear. At least two other families’ homes became collateral damage in the alleged violent domestic incident, with the fire destroying everything they owned.

A WhatsApp call for aid was issued by the community. “We would like to thank the many res- idents who assisted the residents who have been displaced by the fire, leaving many with nothing other than what they escaped the fire with. We also need to urgently raise funds or donations of food items for at least six displaced residents,” it read.

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Nothing new

Lovers’ quarrels are not new. In 2016, a woman stabbed her boyfriend to death in Hillbrow with a bread knife after an argument erupted over an ex-girlfriend. In 2017, a woman stabbed her 43-year-old husband to death in Ridges Park for alleged abuse.

In 2018, a baby was burnt to death after a quarrel ended up with a boyfriend setting a couple’s home alight in Northwest.

In January, a woman went on trial, accused of setting a Commissioner Street building in central Johannesburg alight, killing her partner.

According to Psychology Today nearly 40% of female murder victims and 6% of male murder victims worldwide are killed at the hands of a former or present partner. Violent acts that result in murder against women are often linked to the ending of a relationship or the intent to do so, it reported.

Men are usually murdered as a last resort because of abuse and domestic violence in a relationship, but not always. Furthermore, PsychologyToday suggested that lovers’ murders are usually premeditated.

The publication said in many instances partners have well-planned executions in mind and that murders are not the outcome of a heated moment, but rather a profound act of despair to destroy the other person in the relationship.

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