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Teen who escaped fatal blaze to receive counselling: Social Development

Teen who escaped fatal blaze that killed four children to receive counselling.
Teen who escaped fatal blaze that killed four children to receive counselling.

A 14-year-old boy‚ whose sibling and three cousins died in a devastating fire in Alexandra at the weekend‚ has been left traumatised‚ the Gauteng Department of Social Development said on Monday.

Department spokesman Mbangwa Xaba said MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza was expected to visit the teen and his family on Tuesday.

Xaba confirmed that the boy was in the house when it caught alight.

“Mayathula-Khoza said the boy is one of the five children of two sisters who locked their children in the house the whole night while they went on a drinking spree. [He] was traumatised‚ vulnerable and in need of protection and care‚” Xaba said in a statement.

“She said her visit is to the family is to ensure the boys’ wellbeing and for family trauma counselling. The MEC has already dispatched a team of social workers to work with the family members who witnessed the accident‚” he added.

The mothers of the children have been arrested and are expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court where they face charges of child neglect.

“On Sunday at about 5am‚ the police were called to a house in Alexandra‚ where children were left alone. On their arrival‚ they found four children — aged between three and seven years old — in a fire at their home‚” police said in a statement.

Police said the witness they spoke to‚ who is believed to be the 14-year-old survivor who was sleeping in the same house‚ said he was awakened by the fire‚ which had already engulfed most of the house.

“He quickly ran out to the neighbours to seek help‚” police said.

But it was too late. A six-year-old child died at the scene‚ while three other children were taken to hospital‚ where they later died.

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