Many friends rushed in to aid Labuschagne family
27 October 2011 Leave a comment
Even though their double-story home and their two vehicles suffered extensive fire damage from arson, the Labuschagne family of Fick Street, Parys know that their friends and neighbours are always ready to help…
PARYS, Free State. The Labuschagne-family of Fick Street in Parys had to suffer the trauma of being targetted by hijackers and the family ‘s life being endangered when their double-story home’s garage was torched during a breakin. Both events occurred at about 23:45 October 22 2011. And due to the poor water-pressure in Parys, their attempts to douse the flames with a garden hose were useless.
According to journalist Liezl Scheepers, writing in the Parys Gazette, the first person to realise that the family was in danger was mom Hettie – she woke up because their Volkswagen combi’s alarm was activated inside the garage. “The next moment there were snapping sounds and then the flames.’ Their son Morney heard his mom screaming and saw a person run in front of his room on the gravel outside, running towards the back garden-gate. Morney ran outside to help douse the fire.
The family put in an emergency call to the fire department of Parys, and after four frantic phone calls forefighter ‘Paul’ arrived with a tanker-tender which didn’t carry enough water to douse the flames. “It was far too late, and too little”, writes Scheepers. “The combi was completely burnt out and the Mercedes parked next to it was also burnt. The bank cards, Morney’s identity document and the money which were in the garage and inside the combi also were burned. The arsonists had accessed the garage by removing its door from its hatches. “
A long list of helpers – friends, neighbours, security guards — arrived to try and help the family combat the fire: Hennie van der Westhuizen, Tielie, Koos, Japie brits of CSS security, the people from Parys Sekuriteit, and Hesther van der Westhuizen who coordinated all the phone calls; Boet Smith and Ryno van Vuuren – who helped pumped water from the swimming pool.
“Amidst all this tremendous damage it showed that the community can stand together and support each other,’ the journalist concludes.