The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services extinguished a fire in Tafelsig this morning. SUPPLIED
The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services extinguished a fire in Tafelsig this morning. SUPPLIED

Tragedy as five die in Mitchells Plain fire

By Keshia Africa Time of article published Jul 24, 2021

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Mitchells Plain residents are mourning the death of five people following a fire that engulfed a wendy house in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Spokesperson for the City's Fire and Rescue Service Jermaine Carelse said three adults and two children were declared dead on the scene, and one boy survived the fire.

The two-year-old boy is currently being treated for burn wounds on his hands and scabs on his forehead at Mitchells Plain Day Hospital.

Obin van Wyk, 49 and Rosetta Arendse, 64, who were in a relationship, died in the fire, along with Stephanie Muller, 8 and her sister Rabie Muller, 5, and their cousin, 18-year-old Franklin Peters.

Stephanie and Rabie’s two-year-old brother Zahier survived the fire.

Rosetta Arendse was a senior resident of Tafelsig and lived with her boyfriend, Obin van Wyk who also died in the fire. SUPPLIED
Five-year-old Rabie Muller was one of the fire victims. SUPPLIED
Eight-year-old Stephanie Muller was one of the fire victims. SUPPLIED

The three Muller children and Peters were sleeping over at their grandmother Arendse for the weekend.

Franklin Peters, 18, died in the Tafelsig fire. SUPPLIED

The city’s fire and rescue services responded to a call in Buffelshoek Street, Tafelsig, after 4am on Saturday after they were informed that children were trapped inside a burning structure.

When the response crew arrived on the scene, they found the wendy house already engulfed in flames.

Tafelsig Community Police Forum (CPF) chairperson Cherylee Fredericks said that residents are devastated about the loss.

“We cannot explain the impact that these deaths have had on the community. Everyone is mourning,” Fredericks said.

She added: “We met with the parents this morning and are trying our best to console them.”

The fire was extinguished after 5am. However, the cause of the fire is unclear at this stage.

Tafelsig ward councillor Washielah Harris said that the support from the community has been overwhelming during this tragic loss.

“Before the city’s fire services arrived, community members were doing what they could to help, they were even carrying buckets of water,” she said.

Harris added: “We appeal to the public to keep the family in their prayers. Any donations can be made to the Tafelsig CPF.”

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