Family dies in mystery blaze

The Ramnarain family in happier times.

A seven-year-old girl is in a stable condition at a Chatsworth hospital and is the sole survivor of a fiery blaze which engulfed her family home in Ladysmith, claiming the lives of both her parents and her younger sister, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

While Shirdiksha Ramnarain recovers, her parents, Nirvasha (34) and Anesh (38) and younger sister, four-year-old Diaksha, formerly from Havenside, all died due to smoke inhalation during the fire.

Anesh was employed by Eskom as a civil engineer in Ladysmith and relocated a few years ago. The funeral was held at his parent’s home in Havenside on Saturday.

Anesh’s distraught sister, Shobna Jaitoo, said the hardest thing she ever had to do was to tell her little niece that her family had been killed in the fire and that she was the only one that survived.

The family is not ruling out the possibility of foul play and the SAPS and a forensic team are continuing their investigations.

“I received a call from my brother’s father-in-law at 1:30am on Thursday morning. He told me that my brother and niece were killed in a fire. The first thought than ran through my head was that they had burnt to death. Everything was so surreal so my older brother and I called the fire department in Ladysmith, and they told us that two people had died due to smoke inhalation in the fire. My sister-in-law and niece were rushed to hospital. We immediately drove to the hospital in Ladysmith. We were then told that Nirvasha had also died. The only survivor was my older niece, who we later transferred to a hospital in Chatsworth. The family dog also survived the fire. We were told that my brother had pressed the security panic button once the fire had started. It is strange to think a fire started in the lounge. We are avoiding speculation and are just as curious as everybody else as to how the fire started,” said Jaitoo.

Anesh and Nirvasha were described as wonderful people who were devotees at the Hanuman Vishnu Temple in Ladysmith. “My brother was very spiritual and his sense of giving and providing for his family was something that I will never forget. They were a close knit-family and to have three coffins at one funeral was very traumatising and shocking for our family,” she added.

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Yoshini Perumal

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