Family loses everything in blaze

The fire damaged all three bedrooms and turned their contents to ash.

A Bonteheuwel family of 12 are rebuilding their lives after losing everything in a fire that gutted their home.

It is the third fire in Bonteheuwel this year.

The blaze started in the kitchen of the family’s Chestnut Street maisonette at about 7.30am on Monday January 28.

According to Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus Mckenzie, the family – including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – were getting ready for the day at the time. He suspects an electrical fault was to blame, but the fire department says the cause is still undetermined.

The fire engulfed all three bedrooms, the kitchen, bathroom, and lounge and also damaged the house next door.

The family were forced to relocate.

City fire chief Ian Schnetler said it had taken firefighters 90 minutes to douse the flames.

“One adult male was treated on scene for smoke inhalation, and the cause of the fire is undetermined,” he said.

Mr Mckenzie said donations had been coming in for the family, and more were welcome.

“Clothes, food, and school uniforms and everything else is needed. Seven children of school-going age have lost all their school supplies, and the other five people have also been stripped of everything.

“I must stress the importance of home insurance to protect you from things like this,” he said.

The Athlone News was unable to reach the family for comment.