Residents of gutted flats try to salvage possessions as city life goes on around them

2013-08-29 00:00

WHILE Church Street buzzed with its usual activity following the fire there on Tuesday, the residents of Rosedale Mansions tried to salvage what they could from their destroyed homes.

The fire broke out on the third floor of the flats early on Tuesday evening, causing extensive damage to the third and parts of the second floor.

After fleeing for their lives from the fire that rampaged through the building, hundreds of residents are now left homeless.

Although the cause of the fire remains unknown, it was speculated that it could have been an electrical fault.

Yesterday, the water used by the fire department to put out the fire still flowed from the flats into the street.

Some men and women carried cupboards, fridges and mattresses from their homes while others looked after their possessions on the street. Lower Church Street was lined with whatever furniture could be saved.

“I was here when the fire was going on. I was so scared, I left all my things and just ran. Now I have nothing except what I am wearing. I have no money and no place to stay,” said a resident.

Another said: “I can’t explain how I felt [on Tuesday] when the fire was happening. After it was over, I just wanted to see what property of mine was saved. The landlord told us we have to move out so that he can fix the place.

“We do not know how long this is going to take. Tonight I will stay with friends, but I don’t know what I’m going to do after that.”

Many residents of the flats are foreigners, and do not have friends or family who can accommodate them. Those who were lucky enough to have a place to stay, stuffed as much as they could into the back of bakkies.

The owner of the flats, Arvind Morar, could not be reached for comment.

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