Shack fire extinguished

2011-07-30 07:32

The fire that engulfed about 100 shacks at the Slovo Park informal settlement, in Randburg, last night, was extinguished, Johannesburg Emergency Management Services said.

“It has been put out. It was a challenge. We kept having to go to the nearest bus depot, 500 metres away, to fill up with water as there were no hydrants,” spokesperson Percy Morokane said.

Morokane said a strong wind had accelerated the spread of the fire.

The affected residents slept at a local primary school last night. Disaster management and the local ward councillor provided blankets.

“They will be moved to Coronationville recreation hall nearby.”

Morokane said no deaths were reported.

One man’s arms were seriously burnt, said Netcare 911 spokesperson Jeffrey Wicks.

He said the man was apparently trying to save some of his belongings as his shack caught fire.

He was treated and stabilised before he was transported by ambulance to Helen Joseph Hospital.

It was not yet known how many more people had been injured in the blaze.

Wicks said the fire appeared to have spread outwards from the middle of a block of shacks.

He said the shacks were packed so closely together that it was difficult for fire fighters to reach the area.

When the fire broke out residents ran from their homes carrying their belongings to the perimeter of the settlement to save what they could, Wicks said.

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