Father of two dies in inferno

The 28-year-old Tshepo Mosupa died tragically in the blazing inferno.

‘He was screaming for help while the shack was burning fiercely. Some neighbours tried in vain to break in and others tried to douse the flames with buckets of water. Sadly, the desperate screams died down as he burnt to death.’

The neighbour, 63-year-old Idah Seabi related the nightmare of 28-year-old Tshepo Mosupa who was trapped in a burning shack in the informal settlement in Ext. 11 on Saturday night.
She said the small fire extinguishers that the municipality had given them did not help much but the community was able to contain the fire and stop it from spreading to the other shacks.
‘The fire brigade came as quickly as they could but it was already too late,’ she said.

The remains of the shack in which Tshepo burnt to death.Photo: Selogile Leshage

Tshepo shared the shack with his girlfriend and two sons who were away at a funeral on that day. The next-door shack belonging to the girlfriend’s sister, Alinah, was also destroyed by the fire.
His heartbroken girlfriend, Selinah Yeko says her construction worker boyfriend stayed behind when they went to the funeral in another area. She is still shaken and feels responsible. ‘If I had been there that night, this would not have happened.’ She described Tshepo as a good partner who worked hard for his children. ‘He loved jokes and left people around him in stitches,’ she said.
Tshepo will be buried in Viljoenskroon this Saturday. Alinah thinks he may have forgotten to blow out the candle when he went to sleep. ‘We will never know what happened,’ she said.
Mmapula Tlhale, another neighbour, says they are devastated. Not only did Tshepo die tragically, the ward councillor has not set foot in the area to inspect the damage or offer assistance. ‘This was the sixth shack that has burnt down in the area and not much has been done. We live in fear because we all use candles and paraffin. We don’t know who will be next,’ she said anxiously.

Selinah Yeko (second from left) and Alinah Yeko (right) say they have nothing but the clothes on their back. The children have not been back to school because their uniforms were destroyed in the blaze.Photo: Selogile Leshage

The family says they have lost everything in the fire including furniture, important documents, clothes and the children’s school uniform. They are asking any Good Samaritans to assist them with corrugated iron sheeting, clothing or school uniforms for the children. The Ikageng SAPS spokesperson, Sgt Kelebogile Trom confirmed the incident and said the police have opened an inquest docket.
Those who would like to make a contribution should contact Selinah on 079 8450 595 or the Herald at (018) 293 0750.
  AUTHOR
Selogile Leshage
Journalist

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