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Five children perish in shack fire while mothers out 'drinking at tavern'

Three boys and two girls allegedly left overnight in the shack were killed by the fire. Stock photo.
Three boys and two girls allegedly left overnight in the shack were killed by the fire. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/jteivans

Two sisters were taken in by police for questioning after their five children, allegedly left alone overnight, burnt beyond recognition at an informal settlement near Laudium in Pretoria. 

Emergency services from the City of Tshwane were alerted to the blaze that destroyed six shacks at Itireleng informal settlement at 4.26am. 

“Firefighters arrived on the scene to find multiple shacks engulfed by fire and immediately started firefighting operations. The remains of five children burnt beyond recognition were discovered in the ruins of the shacks after the fire was extinguished. The five children, three boys aged two, four and six and two girls, aged one year and five months and seven, belonged to two sisters,” said Tshwane emergency services spokesperson Thabo Mabaso. 

“It is alleged that the two sisters left the children in one shack overnight and went out to drink at a nearby tavern. At the time of releasing the statement, the sisters were under police arrest and taken to a local police station for questioning. 

“The circumstances surrounding the cause of the fire are still under investigation. We call upon parents and caregivers to ensure that children are always left in the care of an adult and in a safe environment,” added Mabaso. 

TimesLIVE

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