Hopes of having a merry Christmas were dashed for a 66-year-old pensioner after the house she has called home for more than five decades and all its contents were reduced to ashes by a blaze early this week.
The pensioner, Constancia Gawaxas, is now agonizing over how she and her family members are going to spend the festive season. Gawaxas shared her home with her six grandchildren, and her daughter’s backyard shack also went up in flames within five minutes on Tuesday afternoon.
There are additional outside rooms and altogether there are 12 people living on the erf with only one person employed – as a domestic worker.
Although no lives were lost, all belongings including ID documents, dishes, blankets and other household items were destroyed in the blaze.
Gawaxas’ daughter Christiana Geies, 43, said she was called by her neighbours on Tuesday after they smelt something burning behind their house.
“I went to inspect and saw a board burning and the fire had spread to my shack. I quickly ran back to the shack as there were two toddlers lying on the bed. I told six little children who were watching television in my room to run outside,” narrated Geies.
Geies said all six people who lived with her lost their clothes in the fire.
She explained the fire “took five minutes” to burn down her shack and spread to the main house where her elderly mother lives.
Gawaxas sat hopelessly outside her home she knew for 56 years yesterday drinking only water.
“I don’t know how Christmas will be for us. We are waiting on what God will do,” said a despondent Gawaxas.
“I am heartbroken that everything is destroyed but I trust the Lord will oversee everything,” she said.
Gawaxas’ older daughter, Eveline Mutambo, 46, who lives elsewhere said any good Samaritans who can assist in any small measure and in whatever way may contact the family.
“They don’t have pots or electricity to cook. At least their neighbour is assisting them with electricity to cook,” stated Mutambo.