Double tragedy hits family

The roof of the house was severely damaged.

Lorick Maasdorp of Heidedal bid a final farewell to his wife, Desireé, who had been suffering from cancer for a long period of time, at her funeral on Saturday 27 May. As the family was still trying to come to terms with their loss, their house burnt down the next day.

Maasdorp, an accountant at the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, said the double tragedy has hit him and his four children hard. “It was terrible and unexpected. The family managed to get away with only the clothes on their backs. Luckily no one was injured. The fire started on Sunday morning at about 2:45.”

He confirmed that everything inside the house was destroyed in the fire, including various pieces of furniture, clothing and bedding. The roof of the house has also been severely damaged.

The fire destroyed everything in the kitchen.

After the sad news reached the community of Heidedal, they reached out to the Maasdorp family with donations including clothes, bedding and food. “The people of the community are really wonderful. They are helping in every way possible,” said Maasdorp.

With all the distress Maasdorp is trying to stay strong for himself and his family. “It is difficult, but I am trying. Through God’s grace I am able to get up every morning and go on with my daily tasks. God is providing strength and the scriptures friends and family are sending me, also help me to stay positive.”

For now, the family is living with Maasdorp’s father-in-law, Fanie Bergman, a pastor at the Methodist Chruch. They are focusing on living their day-to-day lives and try to support one another as much as possible. The children are also trying to remain strong and focused after the death of their mother and the trauma of their house burning down.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but it is believed it might have been caused by a short circuit. An assessor is investigating the case.  – Jeretha Oosthuizen