380 left homeless after shack fire

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Cape Town - A domestic dispute might have been the cause of a fire that swept through a section of the Kosovo informal settlement in Philippi on Tuesday night, leaving some 380 people homeless.

A fresh south-easter helped to fan the fire while a team of 48 firefighters in a large squadron of vehicles battled the flames from 9pm to the early hours of this morning.

“We were called out at 9pm and by 1am it was extinguished,” said fire services spokesman Theo Layne.

“We do not have the final tally yet, but we estimated about 100 shacks were destroyed and 380 people were left without shelter. We took them to the community hall in Kosovo and put them up there.

“Disaster Risk Management staff are out there this morning to help the people. They will be issued with their starter-home packages, among other things.”

Layne said fire department investigators were told by members of the community that the fire was caused by a man who had had a domestic dispute with a woman.

In a fit of anger, he set their shack alight and the fire spread to the shacks downwind of theirs.

Cape Argus

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