The twins are said to have been trapped inside a house when the fire broke out. They were saved by a man who chopped down the door to gain access to them. The heroic taxi driver who rescued the children, Moemedi Mokgwathi said he simply threw caution to the wind, unmindful of his own safety as he braved the inferno to pluck the screaming toddlers to safety.
During an interview with Mmegi, one of the tenants, Othusitse Gaolebe, alleged that the twins were left unattended by their 51-year-old grandmother. Gaolebe said that the house caught fire while the twins were alone in the bedroom. She said that she arrived home to find that the fire had already been extinguished by the fire department.
Eyewitnesses told this reporter that the children sustained serious burns and also inhaled smoke. The owner of the house, Aaron Ketlhabanetswe said he was shocked when he learnt that his house had been gutted by fire. He said that on the evening of the incident, he had intended to come and ask the granny to stop locking up the twins indoors. He stated that he has run out of options because he built the house with a Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) loan.
"The house was paying the loan for itself because I am no longer employed. The house is now cracked and the only way is to bring the whole structure down. I doubt I will be able to rebuild it anytime soon," he despaired.Selebi-Phikwe Police Station commander, Superintendent Victor Nlebesi told Mmegi that the doctors decided to refer the four-year-old boy due to the seriousness of his burns. He added that the other twin was doing much better at the Selebi Phikwe government hospital.
"We have not charged the guardian yet because we want the children to recover first. We do not want to cause any panic. She will be expected to give us a statement when the time is right and that is when we can decide on the relevant charge," said Nlebesi. Selebi-Phikwe Town Council chief fire officer, Festus Moeti said the fire was reported at 1015am and they managed to arrive at the scene at 30 minutes later. He said that they suspect that matches caused the fire because the house is not electrified.
Meanwhile, Moeti said they do not experience many fire incidents in Selebi-Phikwe because they conduct public education on how to prevent and control fire.