Grandpa of 79 dies in mystery house fire
AN ELDORADO Park family are preparing for the funeral of their 79-year-old grandfather instead of celebrating the 14th birthday of his grandson.
The elderly man died when the family home caught fire yesterday.
James Anderson lived with his 14-year-old grandson, who suspects the fire was caused by a heater.
Judie Anderson, the daughter of the dead man, accused the emergency services of responding late to the distress call.
“The fire station told us that there were no fire engines and referred us to firefighters from Orange Farm, who came, but when they left, the fire started again and then they sent the Soweto fire station to stop the fire,” Anderson said.
She said police arrived at the scene while the family were trying to comfort one another about the death.
“They interrogated the 14-year-old boy and asked if he started the fire, (while) forensics said the fire started from this particular corner in the room, where this old man was living,” she explained.
Since the house had burnt to ashes, the Anderson family of eight had no shelter.
Gift of The Givers has, in the meantime, intervened to assist the distraught family, who lost all their possessions.
“We got help from the Gift of The Givers; they came and donated some stuff for us because everything was burnt in the house, and they will also donate some blankets and mattresses for us,” Anderson said.
The family said they cannot afford to pay for the funeral of their grandfather and are waiting for social services to confirm how they will be able to assist them.
In another incident, two people were killed in a shack fire in Dan Pienaar, Midvaal, on Sunday.
A man who identified himself as a tenant on the farm said there were two people in the shack who tried to cook after a day spent drinking.
He gave The Star the contact details of the woman he said was the farm’s owner.
The farm owner, originally a Chinese national known as Mei, said: “English not good, please call the police or ER24.”
ER24 spokesperson Annine Siddall said paramedics were notified of the incident by the Midvaal Fire Department.
“At 9.13am on Sunday, paramedics arrived at the scene and waited for the fire to be extinguished.
“It could not be determined how long the shack had been on fire. ER24 paramedics found two bodies burnt beyond recognition.”
Police also confirmed the incident.