Hammonds Farm flats catch fire

2017-10-12 06:01
PhotoS: supplied Residents outside the flats that caught fire in Hammonds Farm.

PhotoS: supplied Residents outside the flats that caught fire in Hammonds Farm.

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FIVE flats in Hammonds Farm, Waterloo caught fire leaving five families displaced on Sunday, October 1.
The cause of the fire is still under the investigation, however, residents suspect that electricity cables in one of the flats caught fire and caused it to spread quickly to other units.

A resident, Mweli Hlongwane said: “The fire started in one of the flats upstairs. Everyone worked frantically to put the fire out.
“Residents carried buckets of water from downstairs and went up to the burning flats. However, it was too late because the thick smoke had already engulfed the flats. We tried so hard to extinguish the fire, but our efforts were fruitless.
“Then, we all ran from the building - we didn’t even take our clothes. Textbooks and uniforms for the children were damaged.”

Residents said the fire destroyed everything in less than 20 minutes.
The affected families will be housed at a local hall in Waterloo until their flats are repaired.
The ward councillor, Geoff Pullan, told the Weekly that the victims were housed in a marquee in the area temporarily.

“It’s cold in the marquee. We complained and were moved to a local community hall. We appeal to anyone who can assist to donate clothes, to the families,” said Hlongwane.

“The city needs to urgently look at how it reacts to emergencies. Whether we like it or not, there will be fires, storms flooding and more in eThekwini. For the ward councillor to have to repeatedly call disaster management, the speaker, deputy mayor and the city manager is silly.
“We purport to be a caring city, but when there is a problem - no keys for the halls because that is controlled by another department. I suggested hiring a tent, which eventually came. It seemed like a halfhearted effort. Fire department responded immediately and we appreciate their effort, and no one was injured.” Pullan said.

Division Commander for Umhlanga Fire Station Jay Kanniappen said the fire crew responded to the call-out in Hammonds Farm.

He said that his crew managed to extinguish the fire before it could spread to other homes.

“The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and no one was injured,” Kanniappen said.





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