About 55 people - 16 of them- children were left homeless after the fire destroyed their homes in Jacaranda street on Friday.
The residents have been housed at the Uitsig Community Centre. Johanna Kortje, 64, said her 25-year-old son, who was the only one injured during the incident, was recovering at Tygerberg Hospital after a TV exploded in his face.
“My son tried to salvage a few things from the house. He wanted to take out the TV but then it exploded.
“He can’t see at the moment and doctors say they don’t know if he will regain his sight. But we trust that things will work out for him and I just keep praying for him,” Kortje said.
“I was the last one to go to sleep, which is rarely the case. I heard a loud noise outside which sounded like pots falling, and I said to my children that something smells like fire.
“When I looked outside I saw the flames and I just told them we have to get out.
“My wheelchair also burned and can’t be used any more. I use a cane to walk around at home and in the yard but for longer distances I use the wheelchair. However, our ward councillor assisted me so quickly that I got a new wheelchair on Saturday,” Kortje said.
She lived with four others in a backyard structure.
Grade 12 Ravensmead High School pupil Celeste de Waal said the fire started at their home first and spread to the other backyard structures.
“I have no idea how the fire started. It was a huge shock. I feel so bad because our house burned first, and look at how many people were affected because of it,” she said.
Celeste was set to write a geography exam today.
“I don’t know how I am going to do it. My school bag, books and uniform were all burned. I can look at previous question papers on my phone but I can’t study from a book or my own notes,” she said.
City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Theo Layne confirmed the fire was reported to their department just after midnight.
Ward councillor Beverley van Reenen confirmed humanitarian support in the form of food donations was received from various organisations, such as the Mustadafin Foundation and Gift of the Givers. “The City has also sent emergency kits, and new structures given by the City will be erected once the backyards are cleaned of the debris.”