Twin babies and parents burned alive in fire after ‘neighbours attacked firefighters & stopped them tackling blaze’

TWO six-month-old boys and their parents burned alive at their house in South Africa after neighbours “attacked” firefighters as they were tackling the blaze.

Basil Blaauw, 40, and Jessica Moses, 38, died alongside their twin babies, Kaleb and Kyle, after their shack in Cape Town caught fire on Saturday.

Kaleb and Kyle died in the fire alongside their parents


Kaleb and Kyle died in the fire alongside their parentsCredit: Newsflash
Jessica Moses, 38, died as 'painful death'


Jessica Moses, 38, died as ‘painful death’Credit: Newsflash
Basil Blaauw, 40, died alongside Jessica and his six-month-old twin boys


Basil Blaauw, 40, died alongside Jessica and his six-month-old twin boysCredit: Newsflash

Community leader Dineo Masui said the fire crews fled the scene after a resident lashed out at firefighters for “arriving late” to the blaze.

“I know there was a confrontation between one of their team members and one of the area’s residents, who was upset at the crews for arriving late to the scene,” Masui told IOL.

“However, I had not foreseen the disaster that would stem from that. Everything went downhill at a scene already so sensitive.

“I struggled alone to get the firefighters to come back to the scene and the police to assist me. The family was there and residents looking on at the dead family.

“We could even see the children, their small bodies. It was horrible, and I can’t imagine worse for that family’s three surviving children.”

Jessica’s sister, Joanne Moses, 29, said the house was destroyed by the time firefighters arrived.

“It was not long after Basil returned from the shops to buy something that the fire started,” she told Daily Voice.

“The neighbours tried to help, but the fire spread so quickly that no one could do anything about it.

“By the time the firefighters arrived, that shack was burnt to the ground.

“They were crying for help, my sister died a painful death with her partner and children.

“It came as a shock when we got the news that they all died in that fire.” 

Kaleb and Kyle were just six-months-old


Kaleb and Kyle were just six-months-oldCredit: Newsflash
The City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue said firefighters left the area after they were assaulted by residents


The City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue said firefighters left the area after they were assaulted by residentsCredit: Newsflash

Jermaine Carelse, the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue spokesman, said the firefighters left the area in fear of their lives after they were assaulted by residents.

“Fire crews from Belhar, Bellville and Lansdowne Road were dispatched to the scene of a dwelling alight in Palm Street,” Carelse told IOL.

“Unfortunately, while attending to the fire, crews were verbally assaulted, threatened and one staff member manhandled by individuals of the community.

“Fearing for their safety, the crews returned to their various stations, only to return under police escort.

“What the community may be overlooking is how they stood by and took no initiative to pacify tensions or offer our firefighters support.

“Firefighters are in constant attack in local communities and their choice to leave volatile environments is justified.”

The couple’s three surviving children, aged between 17 and nine, have been put in the care of their aunt Jo-Anne Moses, according to local media reports.

Joanne, Jessica’s sister, said the shack was gutted and the children have been left with nothing – but support has been pouring in from strangers.

“People I have never seen before have been coming here passing their condolences,” she said.

“They were both good people and loved by everyone. I also think the death of the twins shocked most people. We appreciate the support we have received.”

A police spokesman said an inquest has been opened into the deaths, and the cause of the fire has not yet been established.

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