Westbourne family lose everything in fire
THE Van Niekerk family in Westbourne are picking up the pieces after a blaze destroyed their house two weeks ago.
The fire started at about 9.30pm on the Friday with structural and interior damage resulting from the fire.
Tossie van Niekerk, who is the mother of a 20-year-old daughter, Chanelle Neumann, with a son, Izak, 4, said the cause of the fire was unknown at present.
“We actually do not know how it all started. We suspect the little one got hold of matches in the kitchen and started playing with them,” Van Niekerk said.
“My daughter sent a ‘please call me’ and I phoned her immediately. She was shouting that I must come home because there was a fire.
“I rushed home with my husband and the fire brigade also came immediately.
“I tried to run to the back to see if I could save anything but it was locked, and I quickly ran inside to save the four dogs which were inside.”
She said the incident had had a huge effect on the family as they had lost almost all of their possessions and had to rely on the public for assistance.
“We lost everything – a week ago I bought a big flat-screen TV for my husband and two bunk beds and they were all destroyed. My sewing machines and all my material that I used to make clothes were burnt;, our cellphones, furniture and sentimental stuff were all burnt.
“I am just happy we are safe, my children are safe and there were no injuries. There was a gas bottle in the middle of the fire and it did not explode, so the Lord’s hand protected us.”
She praised the community for their assistance.
“Our neighbours were very helpful, all the people. My neighbours sent their children to help us clean up and our friends, members of Familia Christi Church and Laurian’s Electrical have given us a lot of support.
“Advocate Andre Dorfling has been organising help for us.”
She said some people had also offered to wash clothes and had cooked meals for them.
Anyone able to assist can contact Van Niekerk on 082-588-8481 or Dorfling on 083-701-6983.
GUTTED HOME: At the ruins of their Westbourne home, from left, Chanelle Neumann and Tossie van Niekerk with four-year-old Izak