“I feel powerless and don’t know how to express or explain my feelings.”
These words came from a devastated Joyce Khorommbi whose house on the corner of Chaine and Schenti streets, Ivy Park was seriously damaged by a fire that broke out early on Saturday morning.
Her neighbour, Lubra Sibeko first saw the fire and alerted the emergency services.
“I was in Thohoyandou at the time of the incident. It is mainly the garage that was completely destroyed and the house had some smoke damage. I stored some couches, ceiling boards and a sound system in the garage which were all damaged,” Khorommbi said. She could not estimate the damage to the house and said it was for the insurance company to calculate.
Sibeko recalled how he became aware of the situation. At 02:00 my dogs were very restless but I could not pinpoint in which direction they were barking. I went outside to smoke and discovered that the air was filled with smoke. At first I thought who on earth would burn such an amount of rubble this time of the morning. It was only when I walked towards the street that I saw the flames coming from my neighbour’s house,” Sibeko said.
Sibeko rushed to the house and after the determining that no one was home phoned the emergency services. “There was nothing we could do but to wait for the fire brigade. I was just worried that Khorommbi might be trapped inside. I phoned her to tell her the bad news,” he said.
Khorommbi pointed out some irregularities about the situation. “There was a container with fuel in the garage but it was found empty in another room. It might have been removed by emergency personnel or by other means. It is strange that one room’s curtains were also damaged,” she said, adding that someone might have set the house alight deliberately.
Westenburg Police Spokesperson Mohlaka Mashiane said he was on leave and could not recall the incident.
Story: RC Myburgh
Photo: The scene of the fire in Ivy Park where Joyce Khorommbi’s house was severely damaged by fire on Saturday.