The victim was burnt to death on his bed.
A 45-year-old Phoenix man allegedly burnt to death in his flat after his bed caught alight in Rainbird, Phoenix, last Wednesday.
The Rainbird resident who had been living alone allegedly had no electricity for years, thus forcing him to use candles.
A burning candle that was left unsupervised is allegedly the cause of the fire which broke out in his bedroom. It caused excessive damage to the rest of his two bedroom flat, which was situated on the second floor of the block of flats.
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According to the victim’s neighbours who refused to be mentioned in fear of being harassed by the family, revealed that the man had suffered multiple episodes of stroke and that his health had started to deteriorate after his wife left him.
“He could not talk properly or even walk without the assistance of a walking stick or someone supporting him. He had to stop working because of his deteriorating health, which led to his electricity and water being cut,” a neighbour said.
“We used to cook for him and give him water. We as the community even went as far as hiring a guard to assist him in taking care of himself,” another neighbour revealed.
On the morning of the fire, one of the neighbours recall seeing smoke escaping the door and windows and seeing his lifeless body burning on the bed. “I ran back down stairs to my flat to call for help,” the neighbour said.
Speaking to the Phoenix Sun, Phoenix SAPS communications officer, Cpt Cheryl Pillay confirmed that an inquest docket was opened and that the fire was a result of a candle stick that was left unattended.
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Bheki Hadebe, regional fire department commander, revealed that the firefighters attended the scene and where able to put out the fire.
“We as the fire department urge community members to stay safe by monitoring burning candles and keep flammables and lighters from little children at all times,” Hadebe said. The victim was laid to rest on Saturday, February 2.
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