Man dies after wind fuels fire

2017-11-16 06:01
Fire destroyed shacks in Philippi on Sunday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

Fire destroyed shacks in Philippi on Sunday.PHOTO: Mbongiseni maseko

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One man lost his life when a fire destroyed an estimated 260 shacks in Phantsikwecingo, M Section in Philippi on Sunday night.

The fire, which is believed to have started at an “upstairs shack” in the area, started around 10pm and spread fast to other shacks, aided by strong winds.

Witnesses said Thandisile Kolanisi, 32, died trying to remove his belongings from his burning shack which he shared with his wife, Zandile Molose and their child, Lihlume Molose.

Mnoneleli Mikani, Kolanisi’s uncle, said he received a call on Monday morning informing him about `he death of his nephew.

“His wife asked him not to go back to the burning shack, but he said he wanted to rescue his fridge.

We do not feel right at all. We appeal to anyone who can help us with donations, because they lost everything they had and his wife is unemployed. We need help,” Mikani said.

They said Kolanisi moved into the area a few years ago.

Ntombebandla Mandoyi, 43, one of the victims of the fire, said she lost all her belongings including her child Awo Mandoyi’s school uniform.

“The fire started at upstairs and there was no one there. It is not clear what caused the fire, which burnt for about two hours. The shacks were so close to each other and the wind was very strong. My child is so traumatised and she asks me to move away from the area. We do not have electricity in the area and toilets are few metres away,” Mandoyi said.

Mandoyi has lived in the area since 2003.

The area derives its name from high voltage electricity hovering above.

Councillor Nkululeko Mgolombana said the City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Centre will see how they will assist the victims.

“There are about 260 shacks that burnt down here. The department will also assist them with food as they lost everything they had.

We are also looking at finding them a place to sleep. This area cannot get electricity because it is located under the high voltage electricity wires.

My wish is to see the residents relocated to an area which will be suitable for them to get services. Residents here always become victims of fire every now and then,” Mgolombana said.

Kolanisi’s family was still finalising his funeral arrangements and they will bury him in Cofimvaba, in the Eastern Cape.

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