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Boy goes to bed with paraffin stove and burnt down family home

Cape Town weather has been unkind for the past few weeks and people are doing the unthinkable to keep themselves warm. Last week, a 13-year-old boy from Better Life area in Philippi took a paraffin stove and place it on his bed as a way to keep himself warm.

The incident happened on Saturday 13 May when it was very cold on the day. Little did he know that his actions were going to lead to his family left homeless. The boy said he wanted to feel warm but things got bad when he went to the toilet.

When he left the bedroom, apparently the stove fell on the bed and caused a huge fire. The fire destroyed the roof of the family home and burnt even clothes and furniture in the two bedrooms. The sitting room and the kitchen are the only places that survived the inferno. The mother of the boy was not at home when the incident happened. His other siblings were there but were in the sitting room when the incident happened.

“It was cold but putting a paraffin stove on the bed was a bad move from my son. I don’t know how I will fix this home because I don’t work, I rely on social grants,” the mother Thenjiswa Mazwi(42) said.

The boy told the Ezitshisayo that he was feeling cold, and he just wanted to keep himself warm. He added that it was not his first time to get in bed with a stove, but it was unfortunate that it led to his family losing their home. “I’m very sorry about what happened. The fire happened too fast,” she said.

Fire and Rescue Department spokesman Jermaine Carelse confirmed the incident.

“The emergency call was received at approximately 09:40 of a structure burning in Philippi, on Saturday the 13th of May. The first arriving crew from Gugulethu confirmed the correct address as 27 Matlabas Crescent in the Better Life Informal Settlement, Philippi and that it was one bedroom in a formal dwelling that was affected by the fire. Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by 10:00 and no injuries were reported. He suspected cause of this incident was a child playing with matches,” said Carelse.

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