WATCH: Hundreds left homeless after fire rips through Durban informal settlement

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jun 12, 2020

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Durban - Hundreds of people have been left homeless after a fire ripped through the Lacey Road informal settlement in Sydenham, Durban, on Friday afternoon. 

Plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the settlement, which is home to more than 700 people. 

It is unclear what caused the fire, however residents believe it could have started at a leather factory near the settlement. 

"I often come here and spend time with the children. One of them even calls me 'mama'. I ran to find them to make sure that they were safe. I managed to get a few of them, including a small baby, to safety while the adults grabbed what they could and ran," the woman said. 
Hundreds of people have been left homeless after a fire ripped through the Lacey Road informal settlement in Sydenham on Friday afternoon. Video: Se-Anne Rall
Residents scrambled to grab their belongings as shacks around them burnt to the ground Video: Se-Anne Rall
Video: Se-Anne Rall
A woman who asked not to be named, said she heard screams coming from the settlement and ran out to see what was going on. 

No injuries have been reported thus far. Police are investigating further. 

Meanwhile, two men were assaulted by residents after they allegedly attempted to steal belongings that had been stacked up at the side of some of the shacks. 

They were handed over to SAPS, who were at the scene. 
Hundreds of people have been left homeless after a fire ripped through the Lacey Road informal settlement in Sydenham on Friday afternoon. Picture: Se-Anne Rall
Hundreds of people have been left homeless after a fire ripped through the Lacey Road informal settlement in Sydenham on Friday afternoon. Picture: Se-Anne Rall
The community has since sprung into action to assist those who have lost their home. 

Domenic King of the Combined Community Watch said residents wanting to drop off food, clothes and other supplies could drop them off at the Clayton Road grounds, in Overport. 

They are appealing for clothing, especially for children. 

eThekwini Secure has also asked the public to provide relief for those left stranded by the fire. 

A collection point has been set up at the Shell Select in Overport which will be open to residents between 6pm and 9pm. 

They are asking for blankets, hampers, nappies for babies and clothing. 

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