Fire destroys 50 homes — community blames illegal connections

2013-10-17 00:00

A MASSIVE fire at the Sakha informal settlement near Shortts Retreat in Mkondeni yesterday destroyed about 50 houses.

Yesterday afternoon, sangoma Bhekeni Eunice Dlamini cried hysterically when she returned home to find her house burnt to the ground. “I have been living here since 1993 and we never experienced such problems because we did not connect power illegally,” said Dlamini.

She said their problems started when new people moved into the area and started connecting electricity illegally.

“We started seeing people’s shacks burning down and I had told those boys that they must stop these illegal connections because they were not safe, but they never listened to me,” she said.

Dlamini said everything she owned was burnt and she did not know what she would give her grandchildren to eat or where they were going to sleep.

Other community members also blamed illegal connections for the loss of their belongings.

However, Msunduzi Fire Department station officer Pravin Singh could not confirm the cause of fire, saying only that they still needed to conduct an investigation. He said when they arrived, several of the dwellings were well alight.

“Flames were fanned by strong winds, which led to the fire spreading rapidly,” said Singh.

The Msunduzi Disaster Management team was also at the scene to establish how many people required their assistance.

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