Help on the way for fire victims

2019-05-28 06:01
The debris from the fire that consumed 119 structures in Masiphumelele.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

The debris from the fire that consumed 119 structures in Masiphumelele.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A request for humanitarian relief has been sent out by the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Department for more than 200 Masiphumelele residents who lost their homes in the early hours of Sunday 19 May.

A fire that broke out as many were sleeping destroyed over 100 shacks in the informal settlement.

Disaster spokesperson Charlotte Powell confirmed that 119 structures were destroyed in the blaze that erupted at about 01:00. The fire has affected about 211 residents.

Jermaine Carelse, Cape Town Fire and Rescue service spokesperson, said: “After 01:00, the City’s Fire and Rescue Service received a call reporting numerous informal structures alight in Masiphumelele. Eight fire engines, a rescue vehicle and 36 firefighters were in attendance.”

He says it took five hours to completely douse the fire.

One resident Belinda Sekiso says she was woken by the sounds of people screaming. “It was the middle of the night and I woke up and saw the house was burning. I heard someone saying it’s burning and I had to run out with my children,” she says.

She and all the other people who lost their homes have lost everything. “I have nothing – ID, certificate, kids’ clothes, nothing. I’m sleeping in the church now.”

A friend who was assisting with the repairs of the structures on Tuesday 21 May, Anett Mabala says: “Not everything will be completed (today) because it’s late, but tomorrow it will be better.”

She estimates that the bulk of the repairs should be completed by the weekend.

While fire and rescue services have not yet found the cause of the blaze, Sekiso says that the residents have a theory about what may have caused it. “They say it was the candles,” she says.

No fatalities were reported and residents are able to use the Masiphumelele community hall for shelter.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.