THREE people were burnt to death when their mother left them unattended to visit her boyfriend.

The mishap took place as mentally challenged Sarah Simon (22), Agnes Simon (15) and a seven-month-old child slept in their house in Hatcliffe Extension on Monday night.

Mandida Simon, 41, was at her lover’s house in the same neighbourhood when the three died in the inferno.

An uncle to the deceased, Tengani Simon said he was awakened after he heard one of the deceased shouting for help.

“It was around 11pm when I heard my eldest niece calling me for help and she said their mother was at her boyfriend’s place.

“I then called out for help from other neighbours but we could not stop the fire, however the fire fighters managed to stop it but the three were already dead.

“I think it was a candle that started the fire since my younger niece had gone out and came back at around 10pm and lit the candle, she might have slept while the candle was still burning,” said Tengani.

Mandida could not specify where she had gone when her two children and grandchild were burnt to death.

“I came back after being called by neighbours and found my house on fire, I don’t know what happened since I had left home at dusk,” she said.

“These children could have left the candle burning until the fire spread to some household goods.

“They, also, might have removed the keys from the door and forgot where they had placed them,” she said.

The deceased’s bodies were taken to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals mortuary awaiting postmortem.

Neighbours were, yesterday, still in shock as they came to pay their condolences.