Blaze leaves 15 homeless

2017-06-06 06:00
Some residents of Factreton searching for their possessions after the fire. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Some residents of Factreton searching for their possessions after the fire. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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A fire in Factreton has left 19 people homeless after four backyard shacks caught fire on Thursday morning last week.

The cause of the fire is still being ­investigated.

Residents in the shacks in 18th Avenue were woken at about 06:45 by the flames that destroyed everything in the homes and damaged the adjacent church.

The side of the wall of the church was badly cracked and the roof is also damaged.

No-one was injured in the blaze but the victims were still in shock when People’s Post visited on Thursday morning.

A trembling Crystalene Temmers (29), in whose shack the fire seems to have started, says she has no idea what happened.

“I am still in shock with what has happened,” she says. “All I saw was the flames when I woke up and fled.”

Another victim, 70-year-old Elaine Jooste, says she jumped off her bed and stood shouting for help as flames started coming through her door.

“I was standing there not knowing what to do and all I was saying was ‘Take me out, take me out’ and there were people on top of the roof,” she says.

“They jumped in and lifted me up while others were pulling me out through the roof. I was glad to be safe but needed oxygen to recover.”

Wilhelmina Stuurman (46), another resident affected by the fire, says: “We were sleeping and my sister-in-law woke us to say the place was burning.

“My son opened the door for us and we ran out. Everyone else was still inside and they had to jump over the wall through the roof to get out.”

Grade 12 learner Leandre Roman (17) says she is worried about her studies and hopes that education department officials will be able to help her.

An official of the City of Cape Town, who would not be named, was at the scene and said they would probably start delivering material by the next day and until then would investigate and make plans to clear the area.

Community leader Colleen Jacobs says it is the first time there was a fire in the shacks in that yard and the community was trying to make arrangements to give them a temporal shelter.

She asks for donations from anyone who can help with food parcels, clothes and blankets to visit the victims in18th Avenue or contact Jimmy on 073 2803 276.

Theo Layne, spokesperson of the City’s Fire and Rescue Service, says they suspect arson.

He says help will be given to the family by the City’s disaster risk management section.

Officials of the department of home affairs have helped the victims, including victims of the previous fire, with applications for new documentation.

Manager Quincy Shenxane says the normal waiting period for issuing documentation is three weeks and all the victims are urged to immediately notify the department if they experience any difficulties getting their documents. More than 90 people visited the home affairs mobile truck to apply.

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