My best friend was found burnt to death on her bed – a Cape Town pensioner remembers the nightmare

According to the City of Cape Town, initial reports indicate the destruction of nearly 50 informal buildings, leaving many displaced.

  • Retired Ravensmead’s Joanna Schultz is reeling after her best friend died in a fire over the weekend.
  • Alida Ramzi He was one of three people who died when smoke erupted in their home.
  • The police are investigating the circumstances of the fire.

A retiree from Cape Town is left reeling after her best friend tragically died in a fire.

Joanna Schultz, 61, of Ravensmead, said when she last saw her friend on Friday morning, she didn’t realize it would be the last time.

Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Karls said they received an emergency call about unofficial buildings that lit up on Melden Road on Friday at around 21:30.

“Crews from Bilhar, Belleville, Milnerton, Ebbing, Goodwood and Craifontein were at the site. Firefighters found several buildings burning, and three burnt bodies were discovered among the rubble,” Carles added.

According to the city, initial reports indicated the destruction of nearly 50 informal buildings, leaving many residents homeless.

He said the fire was put out two hours later, shortly after 23:30, and the place was handed over to the South African Police Service.


Joanna Schultz points to the place where she discovered the badly burned body of her friend, Alida Ramsey.


Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Karls said they received an emergency call about unofficial buildings that caught fire on Friday evening.

There are no homes left

The area in Ravensmead was destroyed after a fire of about 50 homes in the informal settlement.

There are no homes left

The fire that broke out in the Ravensmead slum on Friday evening destroyed many homes.

For Schultz, the whole ordeal was a bad nightmare.

She said she was about to fall asleep when she looked out her bedroom window and saw “orange everywhere.”

Read | Thieves escape valuables and meat as Cape Town family of 3 dies in Wendy’s house fire

“I started screaming frantically that houses are on fire and people should get out,” Schultz said.

Almost the entire neighborhood had buckets of water out to put out the flames, Schultz said, but that wasn’t enough to save anything.

“The fire was very intense,” she said. “People tried to save what they could. I was very worried about everyone in the houses.”

“Eventually, when the firefighters came and put out the fire, we were then able to see the full extent of the damage,” Schultz added.

Schultz said it happened when she found out that her close friend, Alida Ramsey, was one of the victims who died.

“I couldn’t control my tears. It’s heartbreaking. She had black burn marks all over. I don’t think she had enough time to get out of her bed to escape the fire because she was still in her bed when I discovered her body,” emotional Schultz said.

Schultz said two other people were living with Ramsay in the house.

Read | Cape Town pensioner burns to death after old age home fire

“All three of them died. The wife and husband died with Alida (Rammy). I still wake up thinking this was all a dream, but then I look outside my house and see the charred remains of her house,” she said. .

According to Schultz, Ramsay was a domestic worker who had always been “in murder clothes.”

“She was going to be 50 next year and we were planning to do everything we could to make her big breakthrough. I’m going to miss her so much,” added Schultz.

Gift of the Givers project manager Ali Supply said they were helping the community after the fire.

“Our teams were on site every day, providing hot food, water, Covid-19 care packages, baby care packages for mothers, blankets and mattresses as well,” he said.

According to Supply, the organization will meet with leaders of fire victims on Monday to find out what is needed.

Supply added:

We understand that they need clothing, which we will provide in the meantime until we meet with community leaders and the disaster management team.

Dawn Marcus, Ravensmead Action Group coordinator and community leader, told News24 that residents who lost their homes in the fire chose not to leave the area.

“They were sitting in the area and next to other people’s homes. Most of them chose to stay in the area even though we sheltered them in the meantime in a community centre,” Marcus said.

Police spokesman Colonel Andre Trout said police were investigating three investigation reports into the death.

“The circumstances are being investigated,” Trout said.

Don’t miss any story. Choose from our selection of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

Leave a Comment