More than one hundred families sit outside their burnt home in Overcome Heights, Seawinds after a disastrous fire tore through the informal settlement destroying 100 shacks. Picture: supplied.
More than one hundred families sit outside their burnt home in Overcome Heights, Seawinds after a disastrous fire tore through the informal settlement destroying 100 shacks. Picture: supplied.

Gift of the Givers aids victims after Seawinds fire destroys 100 shacks

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Sep 20, 2021

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Cape Town - Gift of the Givers has responded to the call for need in Overcome Heights, Seawinds after a disastrous fire ripped through the informal settlement leaving in its wake 100 destroyed shacks.

Hundreds of residents who were living in the area, have been left destitute following the incident which occurred late on Saturday night.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Services which responded to the call shortly after 9:40pm, said that on arrival, several shacks had already been burning and that additional help had been requested to fight the blaze.

Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse said: “Firefighters from Lakeside Fire Station responded to an emergency call for assistance in St. Patrick’s Avenue, Seawinds, where several homes were reported to be on fire.

“Upon arrival at the scene, firefighters found several informal homes on fire and immediately requested additional resources. A total of 12 firefighting appliances and 50 firefighters battled to contain the fire before it was eventually extinguished by 3 am on Sunday. No injuries or fatalities were recorded.”

Overcome Heights community leader, Karen Mentoor said: “Residents believe that a faulty wire was the cause of the incident. The situation is terrible, people are sitting outside their destroyed homes, they don’t even know where they will sleep tonight.

“We don’t know how best to remedy the situation now that government does not assist fire victims anymore. We are trying to reason with officials to plead with them to provide what little assistance they can but there is no guarantee.”

Gift of the Giver spokesperson, Ali Sablay said: “After the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre requested for us to intervene in Overcome Heights after a fire destroyed 100 dwellings over the weekend, Gift of the Givers will respond with nutritious meals, bottled water, masks and sanitisers for today, more supplies will follow once the community is resettled.”

“Whilst we were at the scene, an elderly woman was sitting on the "site" of her house, refusing to move as this site was the only means of accommodation she will have for years to come.

“A three-year-old child was looking through the rubble to salvage any of her clothes that was all she had. We will provide a range of supplies to lessen the burden of the great loss,” said Sablay.

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