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House fire claims life of toddler

House fire claims life of toddler

Niël Terblanché


A FATHER from Swakopmund, who did everything in his power to save the life of his three-year-old son during a house fire, is in hospital recuperating from serious burn wounds while he has to go to sleep with the knowledge that his boy did not survive.


The fire broke out in a flat adjacent to a house in Moshitila Street in the Mondesa residential area of Swakopmund tragically claimed the life of the three-year-old Blessing Renzo Gariseb.


According to Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, the Erongo Regional Crime Investigations Coordinator, the fire was detected by police officers walking past the house at about 10:30 on Wednesday morning.


“The quick actions of the police officers saved the life of the little boy’s father, the 29-year-old Lawrence Gariseb. When they saw thick smoke coming from the room they immediately called the Swakopmund Fire Brigade and attempted a rescue,” he said.



According to Deputy Commissioner Iikuyu the father of the toddler was trapped in the room. He said that after the police officers tried to break down the door to free the trapped man the used a hose pipe to douse the fire through the bedroom window.


“The Fire Brigade arrived on the scene shortly after the fire was reported and managed to break down the door to the flat to rescue the people trapped inside. The fire fighters also made quick work of brining the flames under control and prevented the fire from spreading to the rest of the house,” he said.


Paramedics from EmedRescue24 also arrived on the scene and attended to the injured persons.


“The paramedics spent some time trying to resuscitate the little boy who suffered from severe smoke inhalation. The toddler did not sustain any injuries but was unfortunately declared dead on the scene,” he said.


Deputy Commissioner Iikuyu said the father sustained second degree burn wounds to about 30 percent of his body and was taken to a hospital in Swakopmund where he was admitted in a stable condition.


The chief of the Swakopmund Fire Brigade, Adri Goosen confirmed the tragic incident and said the quick actions of the police officers saved the life of the toddler’s father.


“Both victims were found on the floor beside the bed and it was clear that the father tried to protect his son from the flames. In the process he sustained burn wounds to his arms, legs, back, and to his face,” he said.


Goosen said the actual cause of the fire still has to be established but said it is believed that a burning candle that fell over on the bed inside the room might be the cause.


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