Molepolole Police are investigating the death of a 28-year-old man who perished after his house caught fire as he slept on Saturday night.
Baitshupile Ramontsho burnt to death after his traditional hut, located in his family’s compound in Molopolole, ignited in flames, collapsing on him as he tried in vain to escape.
Despite the best efforts of neighbours, alerted to Ramontsho’s plight by his desperate screams, they arrived too late to save him.
Kadimo Tsekeleng, 53, a close neighbour of the deceased, said she was woken up by Ramontsho’s cries for help.
“I came running to the yard. I could hear the deceased screaming from the traditional hut. When I arrived at the scene, I woke the relatives who were sleeping in different huts,” she recalled.
A shocked Tsekeleng expressed her surprise that the deceased’s family did not hear the fire or Ramontsho’s shrieks even though they live right next to him.
“After all the family members came out of their houses we tried to put out the open flames with soil, but it did not help as the burnt house collapsed on the deceased,” she said.
Mourners congregating at the family yard expressed their shock at the incident.
One of the mourners, 65-year-old family relative Nkadimeng Monameng, blasted the dead man’s mother and sister for failing to wake up in time.
“Usually we know open fires make different, loud sounds. What puzzles me is that the house burnt until it collapsed while the deceased’s family were sleeping,” said Monameng.
The deceased’s immediate family declined to comment on the incident, stating that they were still in pain.
Station Commander for Molepolole Police, Superintendent Charles Mbengwa, said they are still investigating the cause of death.
“For now we do not know what could have led to the fire, and we are doing all we can to find out the cause of fire,” he said.
Police suspect a candle left burning might have caused the fire.