Fires over the long weekend killed at least two people and left at least 500 destitute.. Picture: Phando Jikelo
Cape Town – Fires over the long weekend killed at least two people and left at least 500 destitute.

Some 160 homes were destroyed in separate fires in informal settlements across Cape Town.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Service responded to “10 serious incidents” over the long weekend – most were in informal structures.

There were fires in Hout Bay, Mfuleni, Crossroads, Wallacedene, St Patricks Crescent Lavender Hill, Gugulethu and New Rest informal settlement.

Two men died from burns, one in Gugulethu and one in Hout Bay.

Fire and Rescue spokesperson Liezl Moodie said they had responded to wood-and-iron structures alight at 8:41pm on Good Friday at New Rest informal settlement in Gugulethu.

“The blaze gutted 30 wood-and-iron structures and 156 people were affected. The SA Red Cross Society will provide humanitarian relief in the form of hot meals, blankets, vanity packs and clothing.”

Moodie said: “Our condolences to the friends and families of the deceased men.”

She urged residents to be cautious as it was fire season. “It’s getting cold and some people are using heaters and stoves to warm themselves.”

Mayco member for safety and security and social services JP Smith said: “The City’s Fire and Rescue Service responded to three wood-and-iron structures at 2am on Friday at Sikhobongela Street, Wallacedene. Three people were displaced."

“Later at Borchards Quarry Road, Crossroads, nine structures were destroyed by fire and 35 people were displaced. At 61 M Kafi Road, Gugulethu, four firefighting vehicles responded to a dwelling alight and one adult male sustained fatal burns."

“At Cliffoney street, Connaught, one dwelling and two wood-and-iron structures were destroyed by fire. A total of 14 people were displaced.”

Smith said a train had also been set alight at 12th Avenue, Belmont Park, Kraaifontein railway station. Eight carriages had been destroyed and three badly damaged by fire.

On Sunday the City’s Fire and Rescue Service went to Mandela Park, Hout Bay where more than 100 structures were gutted, leaving about 300 people displaced. One man sustained fatal burns. It took more than 80 firefighters to bring the fire under control.

Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said: “Our NGO partner, Mustadafin Foundation, is providing humanitarian relief.”

Later on Monday, firefighters were called to a large vegetation fire in Blackhill Road, Glencairn, and there was a factory blaze in Marconi Beam.

Cape Argus