Cape Town - Twenty-two people have been left homeless after a fire ripped through eight homes in Masiphumelele on Monday.
City Fire and Rescue firefighters were called to extinguish a fire in Pokela Road where eight wood and iron structures had been engulfed in flames at 7.15am.
Spokeswoman Liezl Moodie said no fatalities or injuries had been reported.
“Nineteen adults and three children were left displaced. The cause of the fire is still yet to be determined,” said Moodie.
The burnt-down shacks are in an area that is mixed with formal houses.
Daniel Mkhonto, whose home burnt down, said he had lost his belongings in the fire.
“The fire broke out in one of the shacks but the owner was at work. We are still very stressed trying to figure out what are we going to do next. It is a total mess,” said Mkhonto.
In the “complex” that he lives in, eight people lost their belongings.
“It is very painful that tonight we will have no place to rest our heads, but what has happened has happened and there is nothing more that we can do,” said Mkhonto.
Pamela Broosh, a mother of two, said she was worried about where her family would be sleeping.
“I was busy preparing to go to work when the people started screaming and within minutes everything was gone, my home included.
“I have lost all the clothes, furniture and even my children’s school books and uniforms.
“No one knows how the fire started, we just saw it spread and all our shacks were destroyed,” said Broosh.
She said she was now going to have to beg friends for a place to stay for her family until they were able to rebuild their home.
In the past month, the Western Cape has experienced a series of fire mostly on mountains in nature reserves.
The city’s fire and rescue service has warned residents to expect more fires as the summer season approaches.
Last week, 1 200 hectares of fynbos was destroyed in a fire in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch.
The week before, a vegetation fire broke out on Red Hill.
The Minister of Environmental Affairs,Edna Molewa,has commended Working on Fire firefighters for saving lives and protecting the environment.