Hope for family after fire destroys home

HAZEL ALLIES-HUSSELMAN

An extended family of 16 members were lucky to escape with their lives when their three wendy houses were engulfed by a fire that broke out late evening on Tuesday May 31.

On Friday June 3, the staff of Downeville Primary School, with the help of non-profit organisation, the Good Hope Foundation, handed over much-needed food and blankets, as they lost all of their possessions in the fire.

The family live just opposite the school. Principal Edmund True said it was their way of assisting in a small way.

Jeanet Carelse, who lives in the main house in Tagus Road, said she was doing her last neighbourhood watch rounds for the evening, and went home at about 10.15pm, and shortly after, the fire broke out.

Ms Carelse’s brother and his family, and her sister-in-law and her family, as well as Ms Carelse’s daughter and her family, lived in the three wendy houses in the backyard.

“I went to make myself a cup of coffee, and I looked through my lounge window and realised that I didn’t close my gate. When I got back into the house after closing my gate, my son told me that it smells like something’s burning. I still thought it could be the guys who burn the plastic off electrical wiring.

“Besides my son, I was the only one still awake that time. When I realised it was the wendy houses that caught alight, I ran to the back to alert my family,” Ms Carelse said.

When asked about the possessions they lost, she added: “Material things can be replaced. I thank God that he gave me 15 souls back. I also want to thank everybody who came out to help us. We really appreciate it.”

The cause of the fire had not been determined yet.