Stove Accidents Global Press
This page is intended as a simple record of stove and open fire related burns, scalds, explosions and fires around the world. Please add any new information at the bottom of the page.
Elderly woman burns to death
August 05 2007 at 09:12AM
A 75-year-old woman was killed when her home burnt down at Xhizele village in Dutywa, Eastern Cape police said on Saturday.
Captain Sing'sile Magama said it was believed that the woman left her paraffin flame stove burning when she fell asleep on Friday night.
Her neighbours tried to extinguish the blaze, but could not save her.
An inquest docket had been opened, Magama said. - Sapa
Drunk blamed for devastation
August 06 2007 at 07:57AM
By Botho Molosankwe
Abdul Moosa was asleep around 2am when the strong smell of smoke woke him up.
When he went outside, he found the entire settlement full of smoke, and screams rang in the air as panicked people ran around naked.
Moosa, 29, believes that the Sunday's fire - which razed 50 shacks in Alexandra, north of Joburg, killing three people - was started by a man who was in the habit of cooking at night when he arrived home from drinking at shebeens in the township.
Those who survived lost everything in the fire. Countless paraffin stoves, charred furniture, clothes and beds were strewn all over.
Some people went to where their shacks used to be and started lifting the burnt corrugated iron sheets in search of anything they could salvage, while others were already using scorched sheets to rebuild their homes.
Moosa, who didn't know where he was going to sleep last night, was close to tears as he recalled what had happened.
"When I woke up I just grabbed my clothes and ran outside. I put them on when I was outside, but some people were running around naked. They had not managed to save anything," he said.
"The clothes on my back are all I have. I have lost everything. He (his neighbour who is believed to have started the fire) forgot the stove and fell asleep as the radio played.
"He liked cooking at night and now he is dead. There is no one to take responsibility for what happened. It would be better if he was still alive because I would open a case against him," Moosa said.
The man, people said, arrived at his shack in the early hours on Sunday morning, apparently drunk, and lit a paraffin stove to cook.
However, it is believed that he fell asleep and accidentally knocked the stove over as he snoozed in a drunken stupor.
Wonder Stove Kills 3 in Kono
By Juliet Ansumana
Jul 11, 2007, 18:19
From the Awareness Times of Sierra Leone
Two girls, Susan Gbenda, 16, Finda Mbaio, 13 and a woman, Doris Kamara, 35 all of the War Affected Skills Training Centre for girls in Yormandu in the Sandor Chiefdom, Kono District were on Thursday July 5, reportedly died of suffocation as a result of fume that emanated from a Wonder Stoves in their room.
Reporting the incident to Awareness Times last Saturday, the Security Officer at the center, John Kpakima explained that the incident occurred around 5:00 am, after the elder woman, Doris had lighted coal in the stove and took it in apparently to warm up themselves following a heavy down pour of rain the following night.
According to Mr. Kpakima, nobody earlier noticed what had befell the three in their room and that an alarm was only raised when a column of thick smoke was seen coming out from the ceiling around 8:30am, that it was realized that something awkward had happened to the three.
"By the time the door was broken to know what had really gone wrong, it was too late," Mr. Kpakima said.
The young girls, Mr. Kpakima explained were already dead as access was gained into the room, the elder woman, Doris was struggling with her life, he said.
Doris was rushed to the Yormandu Health Center, but according to Mr. Kpakima, they had barely reached the center when she also died.
All three have been buried.
Shack fire claims fifth life
July 12 2007 at 04:00PM
A man was burnt to death in a shack fire in the Butterworth area, Eastern Cape police on Thursday.
Khayalethu Makhabane, 35, was the second man in as many days and the fifth in the past week to die in shack fires in Butterworth and surrounding areas, said Captain Jackson Manatha.
"In most cases they come home too drunk and try to cook gas stoves. They fall asleep and the stoves accidentally set the shacks on fire. Sometimes the gas stoves explode."
Makhabane, who lived in Tshoveni village next to the N2, came home to cook meat on his flame stove on Wednesday. It is believed he fell asleep and kicked the stove over, which set the shack on fire.
The Butterworth police have appealed to all shack dwellers to make sure they switch off their flame stoves before they fall asleep.
No foul play is suspected and police have opened an inquest docket. - Sapa
Shack fire shatters family
August 03 2007 at 09:16AM
By Sandiso Phaliso
In a shack in Khayelitsha's SS Section informal settlement, a woman cradles her orphaned nine-month-old grandson in her arms as she weeps over the loss of her son. The sleeping infant is unaware of the tragedy that has befallen his family.
Early on Thursday, little Siphosethu Makhunga and his two sisters, aged nine and 11, escaped a fire that consumed their family's shack, killing his parents and his three-year-old stepsister.
His mother, Zolelwa Sonkwatso, 32, and father Wandile Makhunga, 32, were poor, but child support grants helped the family survive.
'This time God let me down'
His grandmother, Noweight Makhunga, who is now to support him and his sisters, has even less. She is 50, does not have a job and is too young to receive a pension.
Makhunga said she was awakened about 1.30am on Thursday by people knocking on her door. They told her what had happened.
"I went outside and screamed. This time God let me down. Who is going to bury me? Why is this happening to me?"
She went to her son's gutted shack at sunrise. "I cannot believe what happened. This is tragic. I don't know how I am going to live with this."
Phumelelo Makhungwana, who lives close to the burnt shack, said she had been surprised to see the three children had survived.
"We thought they were all burnt.
"No one has been able to find out exactly what happened here, because the older girl is shaken by this."
Police spokesperson Randall Stoffels said it was believed a paraffin stove had fallen over and set the shack alight.
Investigators had opened an inquest docket. - West Cape News
Grandfather, grandson burnt to death
July 22 2007 at 09:54AM
A grandfather and his grandson were burnt to death in at their home in Newclare, Johannesburg, emergency services spokesperson Malcolm Midgely said on Sunday morning.
A search and recovery operation was underway to see if there were any more victims in the blaze.
No further details were available.
Meanwhile, SABC reported that a man and wife were burnt to death in their shack at Mlungisi Location, Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.
Police suspected that the fire was caused by a paraffin stove.
Spokesperson Captain Gcinikaya Taleni also said it appeared that the couple had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident. - Sapa
30 families lose homes in Mandaluyong fire
By Kristine L. Alave
Last updated 10:02pm (Mla time) 07/26/2007
MANILA, Philippines — About 30 families were left homeless when a row of shanties in Welfareville Compound, in the village of Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City was destroyed by a fire Thursday morning.
Fire Officer 2 Victorio Tablay, an investigator at the city’s fire department, said nine houses in Welfareville’s Block 10 were razed by the blaze. Damage to the property is estimated at P1 million, he added.
The fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. and was put under control an hour later.
Tablay said they were investigating the possibility that the fire was caused by an “over-pressured” improvised kerosene stove in the kitchen of one Marvelyn Isip.
No one was killed or injured in the fire, Tablay said. The families who were displaced by the blaze were relocated to the Barangay Hall and given assistance by the local government.
3 sisters sustain burn injuries
13 Aug 2007, 0733 hrs IST,TNN
From Times of India Website
PANCHKULA: A ritual ceremony proved inauspicious for three children in Mauli complex on Sunday morning as they suffered burn injuries at their neighbour's house while participating in Sharavan Shivratri celebrations.
Though the exact cause of the fire could not be ascertained, police officials said that a kerosene stove in the house burst leading to burn injuries. The injured — Ishita (5), Simran (4) and Nishant (7) — were admitted to the General Hospital in Panchkula.
"My three daughters had been called for a puja ceremony on the occasion of Shivratri. I don't know what exactly happened as we got to know about it only when the three were rushed to the hospital," said the children's mother Saroj.
A relative of the injured children said that the incident occurred when the woman who had called the girls tried to light a stove. He said five children were present there but the three injured girls were sitting closer to the stove. Commenting on the condition of the three siblings, Dr Sanjeev Trehan of GH-6 said the girls were out of danger.
Adulterated kerosene kills 12 in Delta
By EMMANUEL OGOIGBE, Warri
Monday, July 23, 2007
From the Daily Sun Website www.sunnewsonline.com
No fewer than 12 persons have died in Delta State as a result of adulterated kerosene explosion which also wreaked havoc to property running into millions of naira.
Also, about 40 persons are now on danger list at the Warri Gentral Hospital receiving treatment from serious burns.
It was gathered that two of the victims died last Friday night, while three others died shortly afterwards, even as it was feared that more casualty may have occurred at the time of this report.
The identities of the victims had not been released at the time of this report, but Daily Sun correspondent gathered that a 14-year-old daughter of a staff of Warri General Hospital was among the dead.
Daily Sun correspondent, who visited the hospital on Sunday, reported that the medical doctors and nurses at the hospital were overwhelmed by inflow of burns victims into the hospital.
Among the victims was a woman nursing an eight-week-old baby, who with her child were charred when the family’s stove on which she was cooking dinner exploded on Thursday.
Another woman, Mrs. Stella Akpeni, said she and her three children (aged between two and seven years) where in the kitchen when she lit the stove, which caught fire.
Her three children could not be admitted because of shortage of bed space at the hospital when the correspondent visited at about 4:00pm on Sunday.
The Medical Director, Warri Gentral Hospital, Dr. Francis Omatsola, described the incident as one of the worst fire disaster in the area in recent times.
Dr. Omatsola, in a telephone interview, called for an immediate public awareness campaign to alert members of the public on the prevalence of killer kerosene in the area.
He, however, confirmed that 22 persons were on admission at the hospital at the time .
The Matron at the hospital, Mrs. Augustina Chigbo, who broke down in tears said the hospital staff were overwhelmed by the huge number of victims trooping in for treatment.
Meanwhile, people are now gripped with fear of using kerosene cooking.
Two children die, parents in hospital
By Herbert Ssempogo
Tuesday, 2nd October, 2007
From the Ugandan New Vision Website http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/219/589709
TWO children from one family died while their sibling and parents were rushed to hospital in critical condition after inhaling what is suspected to be carbon monoxide gas.
The tragedy occurred on Sunday in Kironde Zone, Kabowa Parish in Rubaga Division, authorities said.
The area LC1 vice-chairperson, Mary Nabagesera, said the family was organising a birthday party for one of their children.
“They could have prepared the food in the house using a charcoal stove,” she said. According to Nabagesera, the children and their parents could have suffocated when the stove started letting out Carbon monoxide gas. It is poisonous and leads to death.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-irritating gas. It is a product of combustion of organic matter under conditions of restricted oxygen supply.
The dead children were identified as Doreen,8 and Hilda,2.
Nabagesera said a visitor, who was checking on the family in the morning, found the dead children and their drowsy parents.
“The adults were in the seats, but they were weak and could not talk,” Nabagesera added.
Kampala Extra Police spokesman Simeo Nsubuga said the deaths could have been a result of poisoning but could not confirm the poison the family ingested.
Investigations into the incident were ongoing, he said, adding that the bodies of the deceased were taken to the Mulago Hospital mortuary.
The parents and the other child were rushed to Rubaga Hospital for treatment.
Shacks gutted by fire
September 16 2007 at 12:03PM http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=139&art_id=nw20070916082244374C765600
About 40 shacks were gutted after a fire broke out in an informal settlement in Phillipi on the Cape Flats on Saturday, reported SABC news.
Residents said the fire was started by a man who left food unattended on a stove, said SABC news.
Eight fire engines were sent to the scene.
Guguletu fire station spokesperson Leroy Cloete told the SABC that the fire was brought under control within half an hour. - Sapa
Fire ravages border camp for Palestinian-Iraqi refugees
DAMASCUS, 8 October 2007 (IRIN) http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=74694
A raging fire swept through the Al-Tanf refugee camp on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Iraqi border on 6 October injuring 25 Palestinian-Iraqi refugees and burning down 53 tents in the isolated camp, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported on 7 October.
"We are very angry and very sad. People lost their documents, passports and all their possessions. The situation is very bad," said one of the refugees from the camp who wished to remain anonymous.
According to witnesses, an unattended stove started the fire which destroyed the personal belongings, including important papers, of 11 families, and injured several of those who tried to extinguish it.
A doctor in the camp, Ahmad Hassan, told IRIN several people had suffered first degree burns, and others had severe breathing problems. Five patients were taken to the Palestinian Hospital in Damascus for treatment.
Three children die in KZN fire
October 14 2007 at 01:02PM
Three children died in a house fire in Estcourt on Sunday morning, KwaZulu-Natal police said.
Police director Phindile Radebe said a house caught fire around 2am, while a family of seven people were sleeping.
Five of the family managed to escape but the children were trapped inside the burning house. They were Siphesihle Ndlovu, 5, Thabelo Ndlovu, 4, and Thando Ndlovu, 2.
"We opened an inquest. We are still investigating the cause of fire but family members say they left a two-plate stove on when they went to bed," said Radebe.
Among the survivors was a two-month-old baby and a six-year-old child, who were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. - Sapa
Couple hurt in LPG explosion in Laguna, Philippines
By Marlon Ramos, Southern Luzon Bureau, Last updated 07:12pm (Mla time) 10/24/2007
CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna, Philippines — A municipal employee and her husband are in critical condition after a tank of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exploded inside their house in Magdalena, Laguna Wednesday morning, police said.
Senior Superintendent Felipe Rojas Jr., Laguna police chief, identified the victims as Marieta Pailan, 47, a municipal employee, and her husband Alexandro, 48, residents of the village of Poblacion of the said municipality.
Rojas said the couple suffered third degree burns all over their bodies and are now confined at the Laguna Provincial Hospital in Sta. Cruz town.
He said Marieta was about to cook their breakfast at around 6:15 a.m. when their gas stove suddenly exploded shortly after she set off the knob of the LPG tank.
“Our arson investigators said there could be a leak from the LPG tank. But it was still unclear what triggered the explosion,” Rojas said in a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net.
Inferno grounds shacks
From an article by Dudu Busani on www.sowetan.co.za/News/Article.aspx?id=618794
19 November 2007
For the sixth time in three years, residents of Thandanani informal settlement in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg, have been left homeless. Their shacks were razed to the ground on Saturday night, leaving hundreds of families destitute.
When Sowetan visited the area yesterday, Thato Molele was among residents who had already started rebuilding new shacks over the ashes. “We have to start over, otherwise we will sleep on the streets tonight. Everything was destroyed but we are lucky that no one was killed or injured,” said Molefe.
The fire is said to have been caused by a primus stove which had been left unattended.
Vusi Quvana, chairman of the Thandanani Community Forum, said this was the sixth time in three years that their shacks have burnt down. “There are 244 shacks in this area, meaning hundreds of families are now homeless,” said Quvana. “We have received some building material from Disaster Management. It’s not really enough for everyone but at least some of us will have a place to sleep tonight.”
Emergency Services spokesman Malcolm Midgeley said it took almost an hour to put out the fire. He said the cause of the fire was still being investigated.
Baby dies as fire sweeps safe spot
from an article published on 5th February 2008 in www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=172978
A YOUNG mother’s one thought when fire broke out in Duncan Village was the safety of her baby boy. Nodyebo Batmani gathered up little Kwanele and ran across the road to safety. She left her son with a friend who was looking after other children and went back to protect their belongings.
But the fire turned and her baby’s refuge rapidly became an inferno. The 29-year-old woman looking after the children managed to get out, but broke her leg in the process. Little Kwanele perished in the blaze that razed 80 shacks. His remains were found yesterday. “I still cannot believe what has happened,” the distraught mother told the Dispatch. “To think that I took my son to safety only for him to die in that shack.”
Batmani told how she searched everywhere for her child as the fire spread just before midnight on Sunday. “I heard that some people had run for shelter to a church,” she said, “and I thought maybe my son was with them. But, of course, he was not there either.” Batmani only found out for certain yesterday morning that he had burnt to death when her son’s remains were found.
The fire left over 300 people homeless. It took 15 fire fighters and five fire engines to put out the blaze. When the Dispatch visited the area yesterday some people were already re-building their homes. Residents said the blaze that ripped through the settlement was apparently started by a man who fell asleep while cooking with a paraffin stove. The man, they said, had fled in fear for his life following talk of retribution. Resident Nowazi Feni, 65, said she had lived in her shack for 13 years and had lost everything in the fire. “I have not slept since the fire, I have not eaten … I don’t even know where I will sleep tonight.” Feni lives in hopes of being allocated a proper home by the government.
Sinoxolo Notshokovu, 18, a grade 11 pupil at Mzokhanyo High School, said her school uniforms were reduced to ashes and books which she had just covered last week were destroyed. “I do not know when I will go back to school because I don’t have any other clothes than the ones I’m wearing.” Siphosethu Duduma 17, a grade 11 pupil at Qaqamba High School, was also devastated. “We have lost everything … we have no home now. I’m missing lessons because I’m trying to find things that we can still use.”
Police spokesperson Stephen Marais would not speculate on how the fire started, but urged the community not to take out their frustrations on emergency workers. “A firefighter was struck by a brick which was thrown at him by a member of the community while he was fighting the blaze,” he said. “This behaviour has to stop. Emergency personnel are there to help the community, not to be attacked by them.”
Three members of a family poisoned by carbon monoxide in Astara region, Azerbaijan
From an article on http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=44174 by Aghaddin Babayev-APA. 14 Feb 2008
Three members of a family were poisoned by carbon monoxide in Astara on February 13. APA’s south bureau reports that the accident happened in the house owned by Nariman Aliyev.
In the aftermath of the accident, 43-year-old Nariman Aliyev and his son 14-year-old Nadir Aliyev died, his wife 43-year-old Shohrat Aliyeva was taken to the resuscitation department of Astara Central Hospital. The hospital told APA’s south bureau that Shohrat Aliyeva’s state of health is satisfactory. Astara region prosecutor’s office said that Iran-made gas stove was used in the house. The sample taken from the natural gas was sent to examination.
150 shanty houses burn down in Sitakunda fire
Published On 2008-03-23 in the Bangledeshi 'Daily Star'
About 150 shanties burned down in a fire at Sitakunda yesterday, rendering as many families of fishing community homeless.
The fire broke out at Jelepara near Madanhat of Shitalpur at around 11:50am, sources said.
Two fire fighting units from nearby Kumira fire station immediately rushed to the spot but failed to put out the blaze, witnesses said.
Later, another fire fighting unit from Sitakunda station and two more from the city's Agrabad station reached there and brought the blaze under control after a struggle for three hours.
Fire service sources said the fire might have started from a kitchen stove at a shanty.
The loss caused by the fire was estimated at Tk 30 lakh
Young woman dead due to fire
By Bijender Sharma, March 22, 2008 on the My Himachal website
JAWALAMUKHI: A young woman, Ruchi was burnt alive in a stove burst case here last night. Victim died on the way to the hospital.
The victim was preparing meal in her house just behind the post office here. At around 7.30 pm in a bid to pump the stove she came in contact of kerosene gushing out of the stove.
On hearing the cries, the neighbours rushed to the spot. But by the time help reached it was too late. Ruchi received over 80 per cent burns. She was referred to Tanda Medical college by the doctors of local hospital where she was declared dead.
Children die in shack fire tragedy
By Solly Maphumulo in the The Star newspaper of South Africa
March 31 2008
Virginia Hlomendlini had left her grandchildren in the care of a neighbour to go and comfort another bereaved neighbour.
Minutes later, Thembeni and Ntsikelelo were dead, trapped in a shack fire believed to have been started by a paraffin stove.
Hlomendlini had just returned from church in Fairview, eastern Joburg, and asked Nelisiwe Mbatha to look after her grandchildren while she went to offer her condolences to a neighbour who had lost her daughter.
While there, Hlomendlini said, "one of my neighbours said he smelt smoke. He went outside, came back and told me there were paramedics at my house."
'I heard the paramedics saying there were two bodies in the shack'
Panicking and confused, she ran to the shack to check if her grandchildren were okay. "The paramedics did not allow me to go anywhere near the shack. I was anxious, I wanted to know if they were safe."
When the firefighters finally put out the flames, Hlomendlini learnt that her grandchildren had perished in the fire.
"I heard the paramedics saying there were two bodies in the shack; then I knew they had been trapped inside. I only left them for a few minutes," she said with regret.
The toddlers' 21-year-old mother, Zodwa, had also gone to church in Hillbrow. She was late for church and decided to return home.
On her way back she met a neighbour. "She asked if I knew what had happened. I hurried home, but I did not know she was talking about my children. I thought they were safe because my mother had taken them to church with her," a distraught Zodwa said.
"When I got home there were paramedics everywhere. I stood outside and my relatives told me that my children were dead," she said.
Mbatha and her 10-year-old son sustained serious burn injuries and were rushed to Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospital.
LPG explosion kills boy
20 Apr 2008, Times of India website
BANGALORE: Pockets of Peenya II Stage woke up to a deafening sound of an explosion in the early hours of Saturday. The explosion was caused by a leaking gas cylinder that killed a four-year-old boy, injured 11 and damaged houses in the neighbourhood.
An ear-splitting sound shook Ramaiah Layout where Sudhakar and Shakuntala, a couple, lit a leaking gas stove to prepare coffee and tea to sell it to tea vendors. Venugopal, son of Govindaraj and Hemavathi, died on the spot. Sudhakar (45), Shakuntala (40), Govindaraj (48), Hemavathi (45), Krishnappa (42), Jagadish (48), Nirmala (45), Nagamani (36), Shilpa (16), Dileep (18) and Armugam were the injured.
Houses in the neighbourhood suffered damage in the impact of the blast. The loss has been estimated to be over Rs 10 lakh. The injured — Dileep, Shakuntala, Shilpa, Nagaveni and Licey — have been admitted to NIMHANS and are said to be out of danger. Sudhakar and a couple of others are battling for life.
According to the police, Sudhakar, a tea supplier, didn’t notice the leaking cylinder when he lit the stove, a mistake that proved costly. A case of negligence has been registered against Sudhakar.
Dimapur inferno claims 2, razes 30 houses to cinders (India)Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network
Dimapur, April 23: A devastating fire that broke out at D Colony and Master Colony in Dimapur today morning has claimed the lives of two minors besides razing 300 houses to the ground.
The two deceased are minors, aged five and two and half. The fire broke out at morning and lasted till 1 pm.Reports said that some 750 families have been rendered homeless due to the inferno. The exact worth of property destroyed by fire is yet to be estimated but it is expected to be huge.
Raja Chanda, a Class-A student of Xuvihe Memorial School and Rimpi Chakraborty were charred to death on the spot after being caught in the fire.
The cause of the fire is yet to be established but Dimapur police pointed out that it could be due to the explosion of either LPG cylinder of a kerosene stove.
As the fire raged, explosion of a number of LPG cylinders were heard.Some six fire tenders carried out their utmost service but failed to save the property and the two lives.Even fire tender from Dimapur Airport were pressed into service.
Four hurt in LPG blast
By Carine M. Asutila, Marian Z. Codilla, Cebu Daily News, First Posted 13:17:00 06/11/2008
Read the full article here
CEBU CITY, Philippines - It started with a whistling sound from a detached hose of an LPG tank.
Seconds later, the familiar smell of cooking gas enveloped the apartment in Barangay (village) Pardo, Cebu City, startling members of the Jermanie family, who were having lunch.
Carlota Jermanie, 46, tried to reconnect the hose to the tank but the fumes overwhelmed her.
In a panic, her daughter, Rachel Garcia, tried to kick the gas tank out of the house as family members ran out the door.
The explosion that followed rocked the four-door apartment, blowing the kitchen's roof some 10 meters away.
The apartment's second floor also caved in. The explosion damaged three other apartment units on A. Gabuya Street, Pardo.
Four persons were hurt in the explosion. They were Carlota, her son-in-law Carlo Reston Garcia, her next door neighbor Alvin Crecencio and a nanny identified only as Rosemary.
It was also double whammy for Carlota who buried her husband in Manila on May 24 after he died of sepsis
Two die in home blazes
This article was originally published on page 6 of the South African Daily News on July 07, 2008
By Sherlissa Peters
Two people burnt to death in their homes in separate incidents yesterday morning. Supt Henry Budhram confirmed that two inquests were opened. "At this stage, the cause of both fires is unknown," Budhram said. At 3.45am on Sunday, Edendale residents were woken by a man's screams. When they went to investigate, they found the man's house engulfed by flames. The fire department was called to the scene, but could not rescue the man because of the intensity of the blaze. Two hours after this tragedy, the fire department was called to a house in Imbali. But by the time firefighters arrived, the house had been razed. All the occupants of the house, except a 40-year-old woman, escaped. Her body was found inside the house, burnt beyond recognition. Police are urging all residents who use candles and paraffin lamps to be extremely cautious.
The Paraffin Safety Association of South Africa has issued these precautions:
- Keep a close eye on paraffin stoves. Do not cook near a window with a curtain. Ensure the stove doesn't fall over, which may burn children or cause a fire.
- Make sure candles are secure and cannot fall over. Do not go to sleep with candles still burning or the stove on.
- Teach children about the dangers of fire.
- Watch out for discarded cigarette butts.
- Negligence is one of the main causes of fire. Be aware of the dangers.
- Illegal and faulty electricity connections also cause fires.
- Keep a bucket of water on hand to extinguish flames.
- Keep a bucket of sand on hand to put out paraffin fires.
- Build homes a good distance (at least three metres) apart to prevent fires from spreading.
Shacks destroyed in KZN blaze
July 11 2008 at 09:23AM on IOL.co.za
At least 20 families have been left homeless after a fire swept through an informal settlement on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast early on Friday morning, the Hibiscus Coast Protection Services said.
Head Victor Chetty said the fire started in a shack at the Masinege informal settlement in Margate at 2am. "The fire spread and destroyed about 20 shacks," he said. No injuries or fatalities were reported. "It was human error. We suspect the fire was caused either through a gas stove or equipment used to keep warm during the night."
Chetty urged those living in settlements to be extra cautious when using heating devices to keep warm in Winter. Disaster management in the area had set up tents for the families and provided them with blankets and food parcels. - Sapa
Shack fire leaves 200 families destitute
July 15 2008 By Gugu Mbonambi & Nompumelelo Magwaza
From the Mercury Newspaper
The eThekwini Municipality will supply blankets, tents and a mobile kitchen to scores of people left destitute after fire gutted 80 shacks at the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Clare Estate, Durban, on Monday morning.
The fire left about 200 people homeless, and schoolchildren without books and uniforms. Ward councillor Yacoob Baig said: "Temporary help has been provided for those affected by the fire, and local schools have been notified that children affected have lost their books and school uniforms." Baig said the municipality was working with NGOs and the private sector to get sponsors to help with school uniforms.
According to S'bu Zikode, president of Abahlali Basemjondolo (shack dwellers' movement), this was the fifth fire at the settlement since the beginning of 2008. "Help from the disaster management office is appreciated, but we still call upon the municipality to build houses."We cannot have the municipality coming here only when we have such disasters," he said.
The eThekwini fire department's division commander, Alfred Newman, said that the fire had started at about 8am. A paraffin stove left unattended is suspected to have caused the fire. There were no injuries or fatalities reported in the incident. Many people lost all their belongings in the fire, including their identity documents and money. Khanyisile Ncobela said: "We tried to put the fire out, but it was too vigorous. I have never seen anything like this before."
Baig said the municipality was offering material to displaced people to reconstruct their shacks. Disaster management head Lungisa Manzi said that short-term relief such as food and blankets had been provided, and arrangements were being made to link the people who lost their documents with the home affairs department.
Eight killed as fires raze settlements
By Gugu Mbonambi
This article was originally published on page 4 of The Mercury on August 04, 2008 (South Africa)
Read it on the iol website here
Eight people, including several children, died and dozens were left homeless after fires swept through two shack settlements in Durban at the weekend. Ward 31 councillor Gloria Borman said five people, who had been locked in a shack and were unable to get out, were burnt beyond recognition. Three others, including two children, died in a neighbouring shack.
"Having to lose eight people in a community is very traumatic and this was one of the worst shack fires I have ever witnessed," said Borman. "Seeing those charred bodies lying there was an awful experience," she said.
The eThekwini fire department's divisional commander, Dennis Govender, believed the fire was started in a shack when a candle fell over while the occupants were asleep. "Four boys and a pregnant girl were discovered in one shack by firefighters after extinguishing the raging fire. The security gate was locked and the children were unable to escape," said Govender.
Emergency relief was provided by the city's disaster management team and the displaced were taken to a community hall. "The municipality will assist with material so that those who lost their homes can rebuild their shacks, as we are still busy with a housing development plan in Cato Crest," said Borman. ANC eThekwini chairman John Mchunu was at the Cato Crest community hall yesterday to provide mattresses and Red Cross-donated food to the displaced people. "We will be talking to the bereaved families and will assist with the funeral arrangements," said Mchunu.
In another fire, 22 people were left homeless when 16 shacks were razed at the Kennedy Road informal settlement on Friday. S'bu Zikode, the president of the shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, said no fatalities were reported. The movement planned to have an emergency meeting with the municipality to help those affected. An unattended paraffin stove is thought to have caused the fire.
"The situation is getting out of hand... shacks cannot just keep burning like this. I would like to issue a strong warning throughout the province that shack dwellers need to be careful when using candles and paraffin stoves," said Zikode. "Alcohol also plays a significant role when shacks are burnt because most of the fires take place during weekends when people are drunk," he said.
Cooking gas kills three orphans
05 September 2008 by Canaan Mdletshe in the Sowetan newspaper
Just days after KwaZulu-Natal Premier S’bu Ndebele declared areas under the Umlalazi municipality disaster areas, another calamity struck when three orphans died from gas inhalation yesterday morning. Sibongile Nomvula Mpungose, 17, her sister Nokwazi Mpungose, 12, cousin Nokuthula Ayanda Xulu, 17, and and the only survivor, Zinhle Mncube, 17, of Eshowe, have been orphaned for the past three years.
Eshowe police spokesman Inspector Mbongeni Mdlalose said the police got a call at 7am asking them to go and check if the children were fine since they had not opened the door of their one-roomed house. “Apparently a neighbour’s child went to the house to check why the children had not woken up for school as usual,” Mdlalose said. “When she knocked there was no response, which made her suspicious.” Mdlalose said the police broke down the door and made a gruesome discovery. “It looked as if the children had woken up, made some vetkoek and then probably went back to bed.
We are not sure whether the gas stove was not properly turned off or had leaked and killed them.” Mdlalose said the only survivor, Zinhle, was in a critical condition in hospital. “Zinhle was taken to the Eshowe Hospital but had to be airlifted to a Durban hospital because of her condition.” “Two of the children attended Mlalazi Primary and the third Gawozi High. “An inquest docket has been opened.” Local mayor Themba Magwaza expressed shock at the incident. “I’m at a loss for words to describe how I feel. These children were left orphaned after their mothers died, leaving them with their granny, who also died a few years ago.”
Fire leaves 30 homeless in NyeriWritten By:Nicholas Kigondu, Posted: Sat, Sep 06, 2008 on the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation website
At least one person was injured when fire gutted down more than 30 houses in Narumoru Township in Nyeri North district. The injured, a woman, is said to have been hit by a burning plank of wood from the roof as she tried to salvage her property. The fire that left about 30 families homeless broke out in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
It is however alleged that the fierce fire was caused by a stove that was carelessly left by the owner of one of the houses. Area Member of Parliament Nemesyus Warugongo visited the victims to console them and lamented on the response of the fire fighting personnel in cases of emergencies. Area OCPD Kirunya Kimbitu who was also present confirmed the incident but said that he could not immediately rule out the incident as arson.
Fire leaves shack dwellers destitute16 September 2008, By Nomangesi Mbiza, The Cape Argus, South Africa
More than 60 people were left without shelter when a fire destroyed 14 shacks at the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi on Monday morning.
A resident, Nomathamsanqa Somandi, lost everything she owned. She said she had only managed to save herself and her children. Somandi said the fire had started in the shack next door to hers and when she realised her home was in danger it was too late for her to salvage anything. All she could think of were her children.
Paul Myburgh, a firefighter at the scene, said the cause of the fire was unknown. Myburgh said the blaze had caused a lot of damage to residents' belongings and electrical wires, but no injuries had been reported. A resident who declined to be named suspected an electric stove had been left on. "Even when an electric stove is switched off, it does not shut completely unless it is unplugged," the resident said. He added that their area was densely populated and that people needed to be extra careful with things that could cause fires. Ward councillor Monwabisi Mbaliswano said the owner of the shack had been at work when the fire started. "The owner leaves at about 6am," Mbaliswano added. Residents of Kosovo were now worried about living in a disaster area. The department of housing had provided the affected families with material to rebuild their shacks and the Department of Social Services had provided them with food parcels, he said.
Eastern Cape mom, kids die in fireFrom http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2419534,00.html
First posted 01/11/2008
Port Elizabeth - A mother and her two children burned to death when the paraffin stove she was using burst into flames, Eastern Cape police said on Saturday.
Inspector Mlungisi Matidane said the Nokuzola Msizazwe, 35, fell asleep while she was cooking supper on Thursday night. "Msizazwe, 18-months-old Samkelo and two-months-old Olwami died on the spot. Her older girls aged 10 and 12 were taken to hospital in a critical condition." An inquest docket was opened.
200 homeless after fire in Mandela Park21 November 2008, SAPA, The Times, South Africa
Nearly 200 people were left homeless following a shack fire in the Mandela Park informal settlement near Hout Bay in the Cape Peninsula, SABC news reported.
The City of Cape Town’s disaster management said about 50 dwellings were destroyed in the fire. Spokesman Craig Pillay said disaster management teams, including a helicopter, has been sent to the area.
Benrose fire destroys homes11 December 2008, SAPA, The Times, South Africa
Three people were injured and more than 40 shacks destroyed in a fire at the Benrose informal settlement yesterday, Johannesburg Emergency Services said.
Spokesman Percy Morokane said the fire, which started at 9.30am, was caused by a paraffin stove. He said a man returning home from a night shift was preparing breakfast when he fell asleep and left the stove unattended. It exploded and more than 40 shacks caught fire. "A 22-year-old woman suffered serious burns to her arms and a 14-year-old girl suffered burns to her face," he said. They were both taken to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (formerly Johannesburg Hospital) for treatment.
The man allegedly responsible for the fire, who was also injured, ran away in fear of being attacked, Morokane said. "The disaster management will asses the situation and provide assistance to affected people, be it food, clothes or tents, depending on the need."
George Goch shacks burn12 December 2008, by Dudu Busani in the Sowetan newspaper
Three people were injured and more than 50 others left destitute after a fire broke out at the George Goch informal settlement, in Johannesburg, yesterday.
Residents said the fire was caused by a paraffin pressure stove which had been left unattended. A resident, Buthile Simelane, said the man in whose shack the fire started had been working night shift the previous night and must have fallen asleep while making breakfast. “The worst thing is that his shack was the first in this row of houses and near the road, so we had no way out. “We could not run towards the road because the fire was spreading fast. We were trapped but luckily we survived.”
Simelane is one of 40 people who lost everything, including their Christmas savings and ID books, in the fire. Community leader Madoda Yende lashed out at the media saying the community was getting tired of newspapers publishing their stories but offering no help. The man responsible for the fire and two teenagers were taken to hospital.
KZN family of six die in fireDecember 15 2008, SAPA in the iol.co.za website
A family of six, including a seven-month old baby, were burnt to death in their house near KwaDukuza on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Monday, police said. Superintendent Jay Naicker said the fire broke out at the home in the Congo settlement near Kwadukuza (formerly Stanger) shortly after 1am.
The parents and their four children were sleeping in the same room and were unable to escape after the blaze broke out. Officials at the scene did not suspect foul play and believed the fire may have been cause by a stove that had been left on, said Naicker.
Five makeshift barracks have burned in a fire this morning in a Roma settlement under the Gazela bridge in Belgrade7 January 2009, Source: B92
Firefighters reacted quickly to localize and put out the flames. There were no casualties. According to people who live there, the fire was most likely caused by an "improvised stove".
The Roma who live there cope with the freezing weather by burning old shoes, paper and anything else they can get, unable to buy coal or firewood. The settlement, near the heart of Belgrade, has been there for the past 20 years. The Roma live without water and electricity, in humid shanties and makeshift houses.
The place is littered with piles of garbage, paper and other items they collect and sell to make a living. Several attempts so far by the city authorities to solve the problem have failed.