Three children have been hospitalised after a fire at the Comfort Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) in Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday night.
In a statement on Thursday, KwaZulu-Natal social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza ordered an investigation into the cause of the fire that broke out at the facility which houses 44 children.
Khoza said four children were rushed to hospital for smoke inhalation after they collapsed on the property after being rescued, but only three children were admitted for further observation.
She said the circumstances of the fire, which partially damaged the home, were not known.
Staff at the home managed to evacuate all the children and relocated them to a nearby centre.
“We find comfort that there were no lives lost in this unfortunate incident at the centre. We are very concerned by this incident. The destruction of property meant to provide shelter to vulnerable children is really unfortunate,” Khoza said.
“We have directed management of the department to ensure that this incident is properly investigated,” she added.
“We are grateful to the employees of the centre who ensured that there was no life lost. These employees had to face risks when they rescued our children. We send our gratitude to them for being front-line heroes,” she said.
A team of social workers have been assembled to render psychosocial support services to the affected children and employees of the centre.
Khoza is expected to visit the home and the children in hospital on Thursday.