The Northern Cape community are mourning the deaths of several family members who were caught in a blaze that left six children and four adults dead.

Three young couples, who had been traveling in the Kalahari with their seven young children, were asleep in a lodge when the fire started.

In a post on the Truth and Justice Continue Facebook Page, police spokesperson Colonel Mashay Gamieldien said, the Witdraai police station received a call at 1.20am that the Blinkwater lodge near the Kgalagadi trans-frontier park was burning. When the police arrived on the scene, the house was in flames. “The three fathers were running in and out of the burning house to rescue their children, who slept in the lounge.”

Community mourns deaths of families in Northern Cape blaze
Wilmien Davin, Frans-Jan, Iza and Ben.
Community mourns deaths of families in Northern Cape blaze
Stefan Bauer and his daughters Inge and Elre also perished in the fire. He is survived by his wife Madelein.

Five bodies of children had reportedly already been brought out at that stage and laid down on the sand. Four adults and a baby survived the blaze, out of the six adults and seven children who had slept there.

“Pastor Jan Grobbelaar of the Prince Alfred Hamlet NG Church in Ceres, who was in contact with the family members of the survivors, said a couple and their baby escaped the flames, but their older son and daughter died, while the husband is in a critical condition with third-degree burn wounds from trying to find his children in the thick smoke. One husband lost his wife and two sons, and a wife her husband and two daughters in the tragedy,” the page said.
Hendri Carstens, 39, his wife Dane, 36, and their children Pierre Johan, 5, and Magiel, 3, died in the fire. Stefan Bauer, 39, and his daughters Inge, 7, and Elre, 4, also succumbed to the fire. He’s survived by his wife Madelein. Five-year-old Frans Davin and three-year-old Iza also died.”
Frans Davin has since passed away in hospital.

As parents of a young family we are devastated by this tragedy. We have cried for every one of these parents and little…

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Condolences poured in for the families who perished in the fire.

“I don’t know how their families can ever come to terms with these devastating deaths. It’s just too much for anyone to cope with,” one social media user commented.

“So very very tragic and unbearable for the rest of their close families to come to terms with such a devastating loss. My thoughts are with them, too horrible to comprehend,” another said.


Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.