THE death of two brothers in a fire on Sunday morning has left residents of Nyanga, Cape Town, traumatised.

Neighbour Xoliswa Qikani (51) said she was asleep when she was woken by the smell of smoke.

“At first I thought my house was on fire but when I went outside, I saw my neighbours’ home in flames. We’re sorry we couldn’t save them, but we tried.

“The fire was too strong.”

Xoliswa said she suspected the fire was caused by a candle.

“There were bees inside their house and the brothers would sometimes use a candle to try and chase them away. We suspect that the candle might have fallen while they were asleep.”

Another neighbour, Nandipha Majangaza (37), said the brothers lived alone.

“I heard they had family in Philippi East and one of them was mentally disturbed,” she said.

“In our culture, we believe bees are our ancestors. It’s a pity the bees couldn’t save them.”

Fire and rescue services spokesman Jermaine Carelse confirmed two people died in a fire. He said firefighters responded just before 2am.

Police spokesman Colonel Andre Traut said an inquest docket was opened.