Police have confirmed an inquest docket has been opened and Public Works officials will be questioned as part of the investigation.
A security guard has died from smoke inhalation at an unoccupied house in Allen’s Neck on the West Rand, which is owned by the Public Works Department.
It’s understood that the guard and a colleague made a fire in a drum and took it inside the house in the early hours of Sunday morning before closing the windows and doors to protect themselves from the cold night-time temperatures.
He died on the scene, while his colleague is now in a critical condition in hospital.
The guards’ attempt to keep warm on a cold winter’s night ended in tragedy.
They were discovered inside the smoke-filled house in Allen’s Neck early on Sunday when colleagues arrived for the next shift.
Public Works has confirmed that the guards were hired just last Wednesday to protect the abandoned house.
Spokesperson Thami Mchunu says: “We’re very saddened by these turn of events and we’re in contact already with their families.”
But chairperson of the Constantia Village Residents Association, Karen Poole, says that the house has been unoccupied for about half a decade.
“The residents are the ones that are maintaining the property. There’s no power or any water, so those guards are working in inhuman conditions.”
Police have confirmed that an inquest docket has been opened and that Public Works officials will be questioned as part of the investigation.