Over 100 people left destitute by a shack fire in Seawinds

Over 100 people were left destitute in a fire at Overcome Heights. Pic: supplied

Over 100 people were left destitute in a fire at Overcome Heights. Pic: supplied

Published Jun 20, 2024


Cape Town - Over 100 people have been left destitute after a second fire broke out at the Overcome Heights informal settlement near Seawinds, destroying around 40 shacks.

City Fire and Rescue spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said the cause of the fire at the weekend is not known yet.

“Just after 8am on Sunday, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service received reports of black smoke issuing from St Patricks Avenue in Overcome Heights and several resources were dispatched to the scene,” said Carelse.

“Upon arrival, it was found to be informal structures burning and crews immediately began with firefighting operations and managed to extinguish the blaze by 10.25am.”

One woman was treated on the scene for burn wounds to her arms and back, and was then transported to hospital.

Last Friday in the same informal settlement, five shacks were razed, leaving about 20 people displaced.

Resident and community activist, Karen Mentoor, said at least 115 fire victims lost everything as nothing could be saved.

“We always have fires as this is a big informal settlement and we have been staying here for over 20 years as some people who are still on the waiting list, so when a fire breaks out, we lose everything.

“It is heartbreaking to see people crying and the children are also affected by this because everything you worked for over the years is gone just like that.

“Some of the victims are staying at our office but it is cold and others are at neighbours.

“We live in an informal settlement so things don’t come easy, some people are very poor,” Mentoor said.

The community is appealing for any assistance with clothes, food, building material and school uniforms, which can be dropped off at Living Hope in Drury Road, Vrygrond, or the councillor’s office at the Seawinds Community Centre or contact 073 559 3015.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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