A 72-year-old man died in a fire in Grahamstown on Wednesday 4 July. This was one of two house fires that the Makana Fire Services were called to in the space of 30 minutes.
Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said the fire in Yeoman Street, off Currie Street, on Wednesday morning, had gutted the top floor of the house.
“When police arrived on the scene, they found a double-story building on fire,” Govender said. During the investigation police found a 72-year-old man had died in the flames.
“His son escaped the flames. The upper story of the house was completely gutted,” Govender said.
Makana Fire Services Manager William Welkom confirmed the incident and said it had been the second of two calls within half an hour on Wednesday.
The first call, at 8.04am, was to a fire at 45 E Street. When the crew arrived five minutes later, they found a two-roomed shack well alight, Welkom said. Fire fighters extinguished the fire, but the structure and contents were completely destroyed.
“No one was injured during the fire,” Welkom said. The suspected cause was an electrical fault.
While the team was responding to the E Street incident, the fire station received a call at 8.18am about the Yeoman Street fire. The first crew arrived within four minutes, followed over the next 20 minutes by others, including the team from the E Street fire.
“The top area of a double storey extension to the main house was well alight, with a tiled roof that was already collapsed,” Welkom said. “Members of the public were busy removing household contents out of the house at the time of arrival.
The fire was brought under control by 8.51am and it was then that the tragic discovery was made.
Welkom said the cause of the fire was not yet known.
Govender said an inquest docket had been opened for investigation.