Deadly shack fire leaves community in shock

Niël Terblanché

In a heart-wrenching incident that has left the Swakopmund community reeling in shock, a young mother, 32-year-old Stefni Strauss, and her two daughters, six-year-old Grace Margraaf and two-year-old Rechenay Margraaf, perished in a shack fire.

According to the incident report provided by the Namibian Police, the tragedy unfolded in the early hours of Wednesday morning, between 01:00 and 01:30.

The incident report reveals that Stefni was last seen by her neighbour earlier the previous day, shopping at a local tuck shop.

Tragically, it was the same neighbour who later witnessed flames engulfing Stefni’s shack and attempted to come to the young family’s rescue.

Despite all his efforts, he was unable to break down the door to save the trapped victims.

Responding swiftly to the emergency, the Swakopmund Fire Brigade arrived at the scene to extinguish the fire, preventing it from spreading to nearby shacks.

Namibian Police officers were also present, and they later transported the bodies of Stefni and her daughters to the mortuary at Swakopmund State Hospital.

The police have since launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire, while the community mourns the loss of three of its members under such tragic circumstances.

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