Five people, including two children, died in a shack fire in Walmer Township, Port Elizabeth, on Saturday evening

Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the fire apparently started around 20:40 in the Federation area of Walmer Township.

“According to police information, the family returned from a traditional ceremony and, not long later, a fire was seen emanating from the kitchen area,” said Naidu.

She said neighbours had tried to douse the fire, but the intensity of the flames engulfed the entire shack.

“The owner of the house, 57, his wife, 39, and their two girls, aged three and 10 years old, as well as a 27-year-old relative, are believed to have died in the shack.”

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Naidu said at the names of the victims could not be released until their identities were confirmed. She said police had opened an inquest docket.