A fire in Phumlani village, near Lotus River, that destroyed 25 shacks, left more than 120 people destitute and community leaders are appealing to the public to step in and assist. Picture: Screengrab from video
A fire in Phumlani village, near Lotus River, that destroyed 25 shacks, left more than 120 people destitute and community leaders are appealing to the public to step in and assist. Picture: Screengrab from video

Fire in Phumlani village leaves 120 people destitute

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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Cape Town - A fire in Phumlani village, near Lotus River, that destroyed 25 shacks, left more than 120 people destitute and community leaders are appealing to the public to step in and assist.

The fire, which occurred on Monday afternoon, is said to have been accidental and police suspect no foul play.

The City’s fire and rescue services brought the blaze under control with 10 fire engines and 43 firefighters.

Spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said: “The city’s fire and rescue services were activated 5:13pm on March 29, 202. Fortunately, by the time the fire was extinguished no injuries or fatalities were reported. The City’s disaster risk management centre was then activated for further assessments.”

Community leader Sidwell Kweba said while the community was still reeling from the devastating incident, unaffected residents and neighbouring communities were working hard to assist those affected.

“We don’t know yet what caused the fire, our focus right now is on the people who lost all their belongings in the fire and have to start over from scratch.

“While we are doing our best to help, knowing that the City will not be providing relief makes things hard. Sadly there is only so much we can do as individuals, we need assistance to support the victims. There are families in need and every little bit we can gather will go a long way,” said Kweba.

South African Social Security Agency spokesperson Shivani Wahab said: “Two service providers have been contracted to assist victims of the fire in Phumulani village for the next three days, with effect from today.

“Relief will be provided in the form of meals and material to rebuild shacks that were destroyed in the fire.”

For more information on how you can assist, please contact Sidwell Kweba on 083 946 6729.

A fire in Phumlani village, near Lotus River, that destroyed 25 shacks, left more than 120 people destitute and community leaders are appealing to the public to step in and assist. Picture: Screengrab from video

In a separate incident on Wednesday evening, Carelse said that fire and rescue services were dispatched to a fire in Highgate, near Silversands.

Four children, two boys and two girls, managed to escape from a fire, but the blaze unfortunately claimed the lives of two adults.

“The City's fire and rescue services received an emergency call at approximately 7:50pm of an informal structure alight in Syrus Gate Street.

“Fire crews from Kuilsriver, Belhar and Strand were immediately dispatched to the incident. Firefighters arrived to find the entire informal home alight and the fire spreading to the formal dwelling,” Carelse said.

The fire was extinguished at 8:52pm, and officials found the bodies of two women amongst the debris.

“The cause of the fire is unknown and the scene was handed over to the South African Police Service,” Carelse said.

Cape Argus

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