Pensioners’ home gutted by fire

Lentegeur pensioner couple’s house was gutted in a fire during loadshedding.

The family of two Lentegeur pensioners who were left homeless when their house was gutted by fire are appealing to the community to help them.

Elizabeth van Schalkwyk, 67, and her husband Toni Michael, 70, are now living with their neighbour, also a pensioner, in Dahlia Street, Lentegeur.

Their daughter and her children, including a six-month-old boy, are now living with their aunt. The couple’s son is living in the wreckage to ensure nothing is stolen.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse confirmed the incident, saying they had been alerted to the fire at 32 Dahlia Street, at 12.22am on Sunday May 22.

Crews from Mitchell’s Plain and Lansdowne Road fire stations were on the scene with two fire engines, two water tankers and a rescue vehicle, he said.

“The first arriving officer found the building well alight and managed to contain and extinguish the fire by 2.08am,” said Mr Carelse.

“The building was severely affected by the fire and a building inspector was required to ascertain the structural integrity.”

The cause of the fire, he said, had not yet been determined.

Daughter-in-law Oslyn Easton Van Schalkwyk said the house was privately owned and they did not have insurance, so they could not get help from the council. They are therefore appealing to the public to assist them.

She added that Mr Van Schalkwyk was partially sighted and had struggled to find his way out of the fire. “He almost walked into the fire and could have been trapped,” she said.

The Van Schalkwyk family need clothing, food and furniture. If you can help, call Oslyn Easton Van Schalkwyk on 084 348 5863.