Fire destroys 600 shacks in winelands

2013-03-15 14:41
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Fire destroys 600 shacks

Two people died and 600 shacks were destroyed in the Cape Winelands after a fire ripped through an informal settlement. Watch.

Cape Town - Two people died and 600 shacks were destroyed in the Cape Winelands after a fire ripped through an informal settlement, a fire services official said on Friday.

The blaze spread rapidly across a large area in Kayamandi , in Stellenbosch, in the early hours of Friday.

"We had two fatalities," said Stellenbosch fire chief Leon Morta.

Six hundred shacks were destroyed and 2 500 people left homeless.

"We suspect that it was a candle that overturned but obviously there will be a proper investigation that will determine the cause of the fire," said Morta.

Additional teams were brought in from surrounding municipalities with 12 fire engines and 50 fire fighters on the scene.

Access was hampered due to the congested layout of the area and residents having put their salvaged furniture in the street.

The fire was extinguished at 06:00 but firefighters were still working in the area to ensure it was safe.

Shack fires are common in the Cape Town area, spreading quickly through the tightly packed shack areas and often fanned by strong winds.

On New Year's Day, a major blaze left more than 3 000 people homeless in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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