Thu, 04 Jun 2020

Woman, 77, dies in Cape Town house blaze

19 Sep 2019, 22:11 GMT+10

An elderly woman died when a house went up in flames just after midnight on Thursday in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.

Fire services were called to a house fire in Orchid Street, Lentegeur just after 00:40.

A City of Cape Town fire and rescue vehicle and 14 staff members arrived on the scene.

There, they found the semi-detached house alight and one person unaccounted for, City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said.

According to Carelse, a later search of the property led to the discovery of the 77-year-old woman who had died due to smoke inhalation.

Western Cape police spokesperson Constable Sandisa Saula said an inquest docket has been opened for investigation.

Saula added that, having spoken to the fire chief who was on the scene, "no foul play is suspected and the blaze is believed to have started in the bedroom of the house, possibly due to an electric fault".

City's fire statistics

A building inspector was also requested to determine the structural integrity of the house as one half was completely gutted.

Last month, the City released their fire statistics for 2018/2019.

The statistics revealed that residential fires, both formal and informal, had decreased.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said at the time that he was "encouraged" by the decline.

He also revealed that the number of fatalities related to fires "dropped 29% year on year".

The City however recorded 1 617 fires in informal dwellings; 4 918 structures were affected as a result - up from 4 334 the previous year.

*This story has been updated to include police comment.

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