A Tafelsig family face a bleak festive season after a fire gutted their home.
Stephanie Waterloo, 26; her husband Monzain, 32; the couple’s daughters, Leah, 4, and Leigh-Ché, 7; and Ms Waterloo’s brother, Ryan Adonis, 18, were left homeless by the fire at their single-bedroom house and wendy house in Mongoose Road, on Sunday December 13.
Ms Waterloo said she had been cleaning the house when her daughter told her the wendy house was burning.
“I was alone with my children, and I did not know what to do. So I threw water,” she said. “And the fire just got bigger, so I ran outside and asked for help. We could not stop the fire.”
Ms Waterloo managed to grab her handbag with all their IDs and the children’s birth certificates.
The wendy house and the house went up in flames.
She suspects the fire started in an adjacent yard, where drug addicts burn metal, and spread to the wendy house.
Ms Waterloo, a cleaner at Cape Town station, is the family’s sole breadwinner.
Following the fire, Ms Waterloo and the children stay with her mother around the corner, while her husband and brother sleep in the gutted house as they fear it will be vandalised. They received food parcels, sheets, plastic and poles from the council and blankets and pillows from family.
“We need clothing for the children and please can they fix our ceiling,” she said.
Community worker Sulyman Stellenboom, from Bread not Bullets, a non-profit, has circulated a video on WhatsApp asking people to help the family repair their home.
Electricians, plasterers and labourers had volunteered their services, he said.
“We got clothing and food stuff for them. A Mitchell’s Plain electrician company will do all of the electrical work for free, but we cannot do anything without the materials.”
He hopes the family will be home for Christmas.
City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse said they had received the call at 1.26pm and the fire had been extinguished about two hours later. The cause of the fire was unknown.
Meanwhile, a Beacon Valley great grandmother is looking for help to repair the home she has lived in for 35 years after it was gutted by fire more than a month ago.
Alice Davis, 75, had lived with her sister, Johanna Abdol, 80; her son, John Davis, 52; her granddaughters, Abigail Davis, 32, and Nikita Campher, 17; and her great grandson, Connor Davis, 10. However, since the fire, the family have been split up.
The family lost everything as the ceiling caved in and destroyed furniture and clothing.
Ms Davis is now living in Lentegeur with her youngest sister, according to her daughter,
Beulah Muller. Ms Muller said a toppled candle had caused the fire. She said her mother was grateful for a donation Nikita’s school, Beacon Hill High, had made to help the family, and any further help from the community would be welcomed.
“We’d like my mother to return home by Christmas together with the family,” Ms Muller said.
Basic fire-safety tips:
● Store matches and lighters out of reach.
● Avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.
● Keep candles at least 30cm away from anything that can burn, and do not forget to blow them out when you leave the room or before you go to sleep.