2 kids die as heater explodes
A MOTHER has been left traumatised after her six-month-old baby girl and her one-year-old nephew died when a heater exploded. The accident happened at a residence at the Dunnottar military base, east of Joburg, on Sunday.
The house belongs to an SA National Defence Force member who is the grandfather of the two children. At the time the tragedy struck, he had been deployed to Pretoria.
The heater exploded in the bedroom the two children had been sleeping in, and the bed and blankets quickly caught fire, according to police spokesperson Captain Johannes Ramphora.
The father of the 12-month-old boy was badly burnt while trying to rescue the children and had to be rushed to hospital.
The father had been downstairs, together with the nanny, and the two had apparently smelt something burning. They then went to investigate and found the heater had exploded. Both children were lying dead.
Ramphora said he was not sure where the mother of the sixmonth-old girl had been during the fire. When he later received a call about the incident, he found the mother in the house.
“An inquest has been opened for further investigation. The mother, at the moment, is still traumatised and we need to organise counselling,” he said.
He urged people to be vigilant, especially during this time of the year, by regularly checking their appliances and not leaving children with heaters on.
SANDF spokesperson Colonel Ronald Maseko confirmed that an inquest had been opened.
According to Sizwe Jones, from Children of Fire International, at least 15 000 children suffer serious burn wounds in South Africa every year.
Jones urged people to take safety precautions and said it was much safer to use oil-filled radiators.