Family die in shack fire

Emergency services have urged people to not leave appliances unattended.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) says the number of people who have died from shack fires in Gauteng this winter is significantly lower than last year. Picture:Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - People who use braziers to cook and heat their homes must not to leave them unattended, Johannesburg Emergency Management Services's (EMS) Robert Mulaudzi said on Tuesday.

A family of three died in their shack on Monday night in Willarsfarm from smoke inhalation after leaving their brazier burning.

The bodies of the woman and her two children were discovered during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

"They need to ensure they just use these appliances to warm their shack or room and then remove them in order to avoid these devastating incidents."

He urged communities to look after their appliances to avoid fire incidents.

"We encourage people to look after their eating and lighting appliances like paraffin stoves, candles and electrical heaters."

Mulaudzi said although Johannesburg EMS was not pleased with the number of people who died this winter, the number of deaths has greatly decreased.

At least 11 people have so far died in shack fires in informal settlements in comparison with 103 deaths for last year's winter period.