Just when the owner of Little Angels Day Care in Hangberg thought she had overcome her “worst nightmare”, tragedy struck again.
The daycare once again went up in flames earlier this week, in a fire Liezel Matthews believes was started under the newly installed deck.
“In a year, I have rebuilt this creche and worked on the feeding kitchen which served this community, and look now, I am back to square one,” Ms Matthews sighed.
“By the time people saw the smoke, there was already so much flames.”
She explained that after leaving the creche on Monday, around 5.30pm, they were alerted to smoke coming from the building.
“My sister called me, but I told her no man, because I just came from the creche and everything was fine. When we went to look, we saw the smoke and it was already too late,” she said.
The fire had destroyed one the bigger classrooms, including the brand new deck that was recently completed.
Little Angels, which also doubles as a soup kitchen, was burnt down in June last year. Several donations including hundreds of food packs, blankets, second-hand clothing and shoes, were all lost in the blaze (“Little Angels torched”, Sentinel News, June, 26, 2020).
Ms Matthews is now calling on individuals in the Hangberg community to come forward and supply her with information that could help find those responsible for starting the fire.
“I am prepared to put down a R30 000 reward for any information that can lead me towards bringing these criminals to justice. I don’t need to have your name or details, I just want the information,” she said in a call to to the community.
She said Hout Bay police had been informed and had come out to investigate.
This was confirmed by Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Syster. “The complainant didn’t open a case, but she said she will get back to us if she has information.”
Ward councillor Roberto Quintas said he could only describe the fire at Little Angels as a “tragedy”.
“I can only hope that this is an accidental fire as opposed to an act of arson. I am waiting on a report from her to see what is damaged and where we can help,” Mr Quintas said.