Shack dweller dies in shack fire

2019-08-15 06:00
Some are trying to clean the site after the shack fire.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Some are trying to clean the site after the shack fire.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Residents from Marikana Informal Settlement near Lower Crossroads are appealing to the City of Cape Town to install electricity in the area after a man died in a shack fire on Saturday 10 August.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

It is alleged that the deceased was visiting his friend at the time of the incident. His friend sustained minor injuries.

Resident Siziwe Qutywa said the fire started at 22:00. “I was coming from the shop when I heard people shouting ‘fire, fire, fire’. As I was running towards the shack, it was already engulfed in smoke and flames were starting to come out through windows and holes in the roof,” said Qutywa.

She said the deceased and the survivor were locked inside the shack. “The residents managed to save one person but it was too late to save the other guy. And the firefighters arrived late,” she said adding that they don’t know the deceased.

Irate Qutywa said she believed if there was electricity the incident could have been avoided. She added that they illegally connect the electricity from Lower Crossroads. “We have to pay R200 per month for electricity.” She claimed sometimes their landlords just pull out their connections when the supply is low.

The City’s Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse confirmed the incident. He said the officer who was in charge was notified and upon his arrival, one person was unaccounted for. “A search of the premises led to the discovery of a body of an adult male who sustained fatal burn wounds,” he said.

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