I can still hear their cries, says PTA man after house fire kills 5 people

Nkone Motaung, the brave neighbour, managed to rescue a woman and her three-year-old son by breaking into their room with an axe.

Rubble in the passage of a house in Kirkney village in Pretoria West following a deadly fire on 10 November 2021. Five family members lost their lives. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - A traumatised Pretoria West man has described how he keeps replaying the frantic moments of desperation as he tried to rescue his neighbours from their burning house.

Four brothers and their nanny were killed in an early morning fire that tore through the family's home on Wednesday.

It is not yet clear what caused the blaze at the Kirkney house, but the scene has been handed over to police for investigation.

Nkone Motaung, the brave neighbour, managed to rescue a woman and her three-year-old son by breaking into their room with an axe.

He said: "They were in the main bedroom when I heard the voices screaming. They were traumatised; they were shocked and didn't know what to do. They were helpless."

GALLERY: Pretoria West home left in ruins after fire claims 5 lives

Motaung described to Eyewitness News how he and his wife desperately searched for something to force open the burglar bars to gain access to the house, which was engulfed in flames.

He said the mother wrapped her three-year-old in a wet blanket, trying her best to protect her child from the searing flames.

Motaung managed to save the toddler and went back for the mother but it was too late for him to go back a third time.

"When I went back the third time, the flames were high. I was even suffocating," he said.

Motaung said he could still hear the desperate cries from the four brothers and the nanny he couldn't save.

VIDEO: House fire in Pretoria West claims five people