Photo: Working on Fire @wo_fire/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The MEC of Social Development in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz, on Tuesday conveyed his condolences to the family of the eight Karatara residents who lost their lives in a fire which has raged in the southern Cape near Knysna.

The victims of the fire included two women, six children under the age of 12, as well as an unborn child. 

There are currently 262 individuals being accommodated at the George Civic Centre where the Department of Social Development and the local municipality are assisting with the feeding, support and registration and the taking care of 11 elderly people.

Fritz said: "I call on all residents to support the victims and firefighters where possible. To ensure that our firefighters remain strong enough to fight this blaze, they require donations of small bottles of water, juice, energy drinks, lip balm, wet wipes, rehydration packets, energy bars and chocolates."

Any donations that will help assist with the firefighting efforts can be delivered to the George Fire Brigade at Mitchell Street, behind Outeniqua Primary sports fields.

"Residents living within the affected areas should keep their windows and doors closed until further notice as protection against smoke and heat; keep pets indoors where possible; move garden furniture that is flammable under cover; wet thatched roofs and ensure gutters are clean," Fritz added.

"The Provincial Department of Social Development has mobilised its regional office in George to assist the family with psycho-social support and welfare services; support for the bereaved family with emergency alternative accommodation and clothing; and social workers who provide assessments and trauma counselling to the bereaved family and community members."

The Department of Social Development in the Western Cape said it will continue to provide services and support for all of those affected by the fire, ensuring they get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

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African News Agency (ANA)