Residents from Gushindoda informal settlement in Delft are in shock after a couple died in a shack fire on Saturday 08 April at night. According to residents, Gcinile Mene(39) died together with his partner Noxolo Mdunjana(39) who was heavily pregnant.
The incident happened on Saturday night around 11pm. According to residents, they last saw the the couple alive when they arrived at their shack around 8pm. The couple had spent their Easter in Crossroads and Barcelona where they were celebrating Easter with family and friends. “They had sausage in a plastic bag when they arrived. A few hours later I heard them calling for help. By the time I went outside their shack was on fire and the flames were already out of control,” said neighbour Yamkela Melane(27).
Melane said at first he used water to extinguish the fire but he realised that whenever he poured water, the flames got worse. He changed and started throwing some sand but it didn’t work. “By the time other residents arrived, the shack was almost finished, the flames had engulfed it. “The couple was no longer crying, their screaming had died down,” said Melane.
Residents suspect that the couple could have fallen asleep while frying the sausage. Residents said when they were trying to extinguish the fire, they heard the hissing sound which they thought was coming from a gas stove inside the shack. “That’s the only explanation that we can give, they could have been cooking and they fell asleep,” added a community leader Sisipho Jwete.
Police spokesman Sergeant Wesley Twigg confirmed the incident. “The cause of the fire is yet to be determined. An inquest docket was registered for investigation and anyone with information about this incident is requested to contact Delft police at 021 954 9011 or 082 522 2036 or Crime Stop at 0860 010 111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211,” said Twigg.