Staff writer

A CEREAL factory has been declared unsafe and 49 people have been displaced after several fires broke out in the city over the weekend.

About 20 tons of cereal was burnt in a fire at Alphen Foods in Maitland in the early hours yesterday, Disaster Risk Management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.

“During the firefighting efforts, the emergency crews estimated that approximately 20 tons of cereal was affected by the fire and attempts were made to avert the fire from spreading. Emergency services personnel found that one wall of the building was cracked due to the excessive heat exposure,” he said, adding that authorities had declared the building unsafe.

“The firefighters and emergency vehicles remain on-scene monitoring the hot spots … and will further attempt to extinguish the fire,” he said.

Elsewhere yesterday fires destroyed three houses and ten shacks in Hanover Park, Bonteheuwel and Gugulethu, leaving 40 people homeless.

The city’s disaster response teams assisted victims with food parcels, blankets, baby packs and clothing while its Human Settlements Directorate supplied building material to the affected families

On Saturday a house and five shacks were also gutted in Khayelitsha, Philippi and Pinelands leaving nine people destitute.

“The authorities confirmed that no persons sustained any injuries or died as a result of these fires,” he said.