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Scores displaced after fire ravages Woodstock shelter

Fire has broken out in Cissie Gool House, leaving seven families destitute. Video supplied by Reclaim The City.

Fire has broken out in Cissie Gool House, leaving seven families destitute. Video supplied by Reclaim The City.

Published Jan 28, 2022

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Cape Town - Seven families have been displaced after a fire ravaged a Woodstock shelter known to its occupants as Cissie Gool House. The shelter, which houses approximately 490 people, caught fire on Thursday evening, destroying seven rooms and leaving almost 20 residents destitute.

“What we know so far is that there are seven households that have been burnt. The families at minimum consist of four people, making the total number of people around 20. These families have lost everything in their homes, but they are currently being housed in the hall, another wing of the building,” Buhle Booi, head of political organising at Ndifuna Ukwazi, said.

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“We are now making preparations making sure that we can at least get beddings for the people to sleep in. We are now just waiting on the fire services to give us feedback on what could have caused the fire,” he added.

The City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed that 19 firefighting members were called to the scene of the fire in Victoria Road, Woodstock, at about 6.50pm.

They said they are still investigating the cause of the fire.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported.

In a Twitter post, Reclaim The City, a non-profit associated with the shelter, said that the affected residents would need donations of food, water, mattresses and bedding.

The non-profit is appealing to the public for donations of these essential items. Donations can be delivered directly at the Cissie Gool House (77 Mountain Road, Woodstock) or by contacting Fagmeedah on 083 749 1070 or Buhle on 073 435 7580.

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