Blind woman burnt to death as fire destroys family home

GUTTED HOUSE: All that is left of the house in Harris Street Pictures: BRIAN WITBOOI
GUTTED HOUSE: All that is left of the house in Harris Street
Pictures: BRIAN WITBOOI

A blind South End woman burnt to death in a fire which destroyed her home yesterday.

Although the details were still scant last night, the woman is believed to have been locked in the house in Harris Street, off Brickmakers Kloof, when the fire started.

Her husband allegedly locked her in for her own safety when he went out.

Neighbour Pierre le Roux said he had seen smoke billowing from the derelict residence at about noon. Moments later, emergency services arrived.

However, little remained of the house and the couple’s possessions when the fire was extinguished about 90 minutes later.

Le Roux said electricity to the house had been cut off a few months earlier and he had regularly seen the pair light fires to cook.

“They have been living in the house, which was in a very bad condition, for years,” he said.

“When I spoke to the EMS they said the woman had been locked in the house – but that was nothing new.

“They apparently found her body on her bed.”

Harris street resident Logan Truter said he had regularly seen the pair walking around.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said the woman was believed to have been alone at home when the incident happened.

“At this stage, it is unknown how the fire started,” Labans said.

“The name of the woman is not being released until her next of kin have been notified.

“An inquest docket has been opened.”

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