Mother sacrifices her life in rescue attempt

Tragedy strikes
Adolf Kaure

Three people lost their lives in a shack fire that broke out in Swakopmund’s DRC informal settlement on Sunday.

The regional crime investigations coordinator in Erongo, deputy commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, confirmed the incident, saying “the owner of the shack (deceased), her elder daughter, her 13-year old daughter and her 6-day old granddaughter, managed to run out of the shack unharmed. [However] the deceased went back to rescue the other two younger children but in the process was trapped with them in the fire,” said Iikuyu.

The shack owner Hileni Shimpanda (42), her daughter Pomwene Shimpanda (4) and granddaughter Helena David (7) died in the blaze.

Three family members who survived, sustained no injuries. They are the shack owner’s two daughters aged 26 and 13 respectively, as well as her 6-day old grandchild.

According to Iikuyu, the incident occurred between 23:00 and 23:45 while the family of six were sleeping.

“The fire allegedly started in the children's room. It is believed that a candle was left burning. This may have caused fire,” he said.