852 A man runs throws water over burning shacks as members of the community douse the fire that destroyed more than 300 of their shacks in Kya Sands. 091014. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - An estimated 2 000 people have been displaced after a fire at the Kya Sands informal settlement destroyed about 500 shacks on Thursday, said Johannesburg emergency services personnel.

Spokeswoman Nana Radebe said disaster officials were establishing how many people had been displaced, but from initial observations, about 2 000 people were rendered homeless.

Radebe would not confirm the number until the officials had completed their assessments, she said.

Eight people suffered from smoke inhalation caused by the fire.

“All eight people have been treated on scene by paramedics and no one was taken to hospital. We are also speaking to the community to see if any of their relatives are missing.”

About 500 shacks caught fire, Radebe said.

The cause of the blaze was being investigated.

A local church had offered alternative accommodation for the night, and NGOs were organising food and clothing for those affected. - Sapa