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MBABANE - Close shave! Two children and their minder were yesterday lucky to come out unscathed from an explosive fire at Sawubona Flats, situated at Queensgate.

The two minors, aged four and two, were said to be in the living room while their minder was preparing their food.
The flats are owned by the Central Bank of Eswatini.
When this reporter arrived at the scene, the fire had already destroyed everything in the room and the only remnants were bits and pieces of the children’s clothes.

The tenants had not arrived at the scene and everyone who witnessed the fire seemed to be traumatized by the accident.
According to a source who witnessed the accident, the child minder was in the kitchen before the fire erupted.

 She stated that one of the minors (aged two) was watching television while the four-year-old was playing in the children’s room.
She said she suspected that the minor lit a matchstick. 
She alleged that the child dropped the matchstick on a bed and went out without having noticed that it was still lit and went to the living room where his sibling was.

She mentioned that it was then that the blankets caught fire.


Abruptly, the source stated that there was an explosive sound which sounded like a clash of windows.
She narrated that they were surprised to see a fiery flame when they got closer to view the source of the boisterous bang.

“The fire was so huge and happened suddenly. I was very shocked to see something like this in my life; but we are glad no life was lost,” said the source.
 She mentioned that it was too late when they saw the fire and nothing could be done to extinguish the raging flames and that was when they called the Fire and Emergency Services personnel.

On the same breath, one officer from the emergency services said the occupants were lucky to be alive as the fire was explosive and could have killed them if they had not arrived earlier at the scene.

However, he stated that he could not ascertain what had caused the fire at as it was still at an early stage. The officer said it was most likely that it was caused by a lighted matchstick.   

Meanwhile, the bank’s Head Strategy and Communications Officer Zithulele Gina confirmed the fire but did not stipulate the value of the damage.
“I do not think at this point we can specify the amount of damage from the fire. However, the children’s bedroom was burnt down and the tenant is still traumatized,” said Gina.
He further mentioned that the institution was still to conduct an investigation on the cause of the fire.

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