AT LEAST two families lost most of their possessions and were left homeless on 9 January, when a Glendinningvale, Port Elizabeth house was gutted by a large fire.
Believed to have been caused by an electrical fault and fanned by strong winds, the fire broke out before 5pm and moved rapidly through the roof of the large Dan Pienaar Street home, causing substantial damage to most of the house and its contents.
The blaze, which attracted a large number of bystanders, was doused by firefighters who arrived at the scene within minutes after being alerted to the fire. According to bystanders, however, firefighters had initially struggled to access water from water sources in the vicinity, but later managed to bring the fire under control with water from their fire trucks.
While no one was injured in the blaze, members of the two families occupying the house said they believed that they and their children were lucky to escape serious injury or death.
Ironically, The owner of the house and his partner, Thomas Kelly and Tanya Bradford, who live on the property, did not suffer any losses besides the house, which Kelly told Weekend Post was insured and owned by himself and his siblings.
Kelly and Bradford occupy a tent camp which the couple established behind the main house. The couple rented the main house out to two Nigerian families who collectively have three small children.
“Fortunately the house is insured, so I am confident that it can be rebuilt. I am also glad that there were no injuries,” Kelly said, Kelly., who added that adding that he believed that the fire had been caused by a faulty lamp used in a second-storey section of the home.
According to Bradford, the main structure of the dwelling is still intact, but most of the wooden components have been destroyed.
Nigerians Zuze Wetteniss and Uzoma Chidi, who are members of a local Nigerian football club, both said that they were devastated by the fire, in which they had lost most of their possessions.
“I at least managed to get my passport before it was burned. But we are still very upset by this fire. We have small children and we now have nowhere to stay,” This is a very bad situation for us,” said Wetteniss said.
When contacted for details last night, Port Elizabeth police said they had no knowledge of the fire.
– Shaun Gillham