Woman and two grandsons die in fire

Hanover Park is in shock after a woman and her two young grandchildren died in a fire in their home on Saturday.

The fire swept through the Kariba Court flat, in Lonston Road, after 3pm, according to Fire and Rescue spokesman Theo Layne.

He said the cause of the fire was still being investigated.

Yvonne Briqwa, 57, and her two grandchildren – one-year-old Jayden and three-year-old Jordan – died in the blaze.

Ward 47 councillor Antonio van der Rheede said the children’s mother had been visiting her boyfriend in Khayelitsha at the time.

Social Development MEC Albert Fritz said a team of social workers had been dispatched to assist the remaining family members.

Mr Van der Rheede said the community had tried in vain to extinguish the fire and smashed windows trying to get the children out of the house.

Mr Van der Rheede said the community took one child out but he was already dead and the other child was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

“They were young children who haven’t even started to live yet. It is very traumatic.

“The community really tried to rally together, but the fire was too high,” he said.

Resident Violet van der Westhuizen, who has lived in the court for more than 40 years, said she had been getting dressed to go out when she heard people screaming “the house is burning” and went to look outside.

While some people were saying the fire had started in the kitchen, she said no one knew for sure what had caused it.

“The community was really helpful; they tried to put the fire out for more than an hour. Even the nurses from the day hospital came to help. They were very quiet children.

“When they came out with the bodies the people were crying and shouting,” she said.

Another resident, Carol Jacobs, said she had seen smoke coming from the window and had run down to see what was happening.

“Nobody knows what happened inside the house because the door was locked,” she said.

A vigil will be held at Kariba Court, on Wednesday August 2.

Mr Layne said two other residents were also injured in the fire, while another suffered smoke inhalation.

This incident comes three days after another fire claimed the lives of two parents and their four children in Philippi East.