Over 500 people have been left displaced following a fire in the Jim se Bos informal settlement in Philippi. File picture.
Over 500 people have been left displaced following a fire in the Jim se Bos informal settlement in Philippi. File picture.

One person dead and 525 displaced after devastating fire in Philippi

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Jun 22, 2021

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Cape Town - One person was killed and more than 500 left displaced in a fire that took place at the Jim se Bos informal settlement, Philippi, in the early hours of Monday.

According to the City’s Fire and Rescue Services, 72 firefighters responded to the major incident at about 11.50pm on Sunday and worked into the early hours to extinguish the fire.

Spokesperson Edward Bosch said when fire crews arrived on the scene the conditions were not favourable, resulting in the process to put out the fire taking close to nine hours.

Bosch said: “Approximately 200 shacks were destroyed leaving numerous persons displaced. One person died, and three firefighters were injured putting out the fire, however, only one was taken to hospital. The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage, and the scene was handed over to the police.”

Philippi councillor Elton-Enrique Jansen said after visiting the scene, accompanied by a representative from the mayor’s office to assess the situation, he had been struck by how terrible the situation was.

“I have requested the mayor to declare the incident a disaster because of the magnitude of the devastation. We need to activate the necessary parties so we can work on assisting the victims. For now, thankfully, we have Gift of the Givers in the area assisting the families in need with warm meals, while Sassa will join them as soon as possible.”

Community leader Anna Jacobs said: “In the space of 24 hours we had two terrible incidents. Two fires, the first started on Sunday evening and the other happened in the afternoon. People are traumatised, they have lost everything in these fires, it’s awful what one sees when you walk through the area.

“We need help to rebuild the homes, we need food, clothes, blankets. Soon it will be raining, what will happen to the children and the vulnerable residents? We are pleading with compassionate South Africans to please come forward and help us.”

For information on where to drop off items for the people in need, contact Aunty Anna on 063 235 5550

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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