Residents of Thames Walk in Manenberg are calling on the public to assist them in providing much-needed goods to two neighbouring families; this after their homes caught fire last week. According to Bronwyn Edwards, a fire broke out on Thursday afternoon causing several of her relatives to evacuate their premises. “We were all sitting in the main house when my eight-year-old nephew came running in to say there was a fire. He tried to put out the fire before calling for more help, but by the time we arrived at the bedroom where it started, it had already gone up in massive flames,” she explains.Edwards’s two sisters, Janine Wentzel and Eloise Christians, a foundation phase facilitator at Manenberg Aftercare Centre, lost most of their belongings in the fire “The entire wendyhouse burned down along with every household item inside it. Half of another family’s home was also affected during the fire and many belongings were damaged. We do not know what started the fire but officials say it could have been an electrical fault.”The families affected say they are forced to call on support from the public after numerous attempts at getting assistance from the ward councillor. “The councillor acknowledged what had happened and we were in contact via Whatsapp only, a day after the incident,” says Edwards.“After sending numerous SMSes, she [the councillor] replied, saying she is busy and that she had made contact with disaster management and they are supposed to come and help us. Nobody has come forward since and the only assistance we got was from friends who provided some clothing. One of my close friends also lost her house in a fire recently, and her ward councillor is giving her a structure and even made a plan to get funding for the family.”Ward 45 councillor, Bonita Jacobs, says: “During the past weeks I had numerous fires in the ward, sometimes with three to four backyard dwellings being totally destroyed. That also includes the area of Tambo Village, but thank God no loss of life or serious injuries occurred during these fires. When I was informed of the fire my immediate response was to make sure that no-one was injured as I was not in the ward at the time texted. Although I was in meetings the following day I made sure that disaster management will assist with the emergency kits for fire victims. With new regulations the City of Cape Town no longer assists with clothing, food parcels and bedding, as this has been taken over by Sassa. With communities expecting immediate assistance and not knowing the procedure has changed, I feel their gripe. This makes us ask for assistance from other sources. I will always avail myself and assist my community.”Jacobs says she delivered clothing and groceries to the family on Wednesday and promised disaster management will assist with emergency kits before the weekend. Meanwhile Edwards is calling on the public to donate much-needed goods for the two families. “Our relatives are between the ages of six months and 45. They are two families consisting of two adults and four children in each household. Any unused clothing, shoes, school uniforms and books, household items and even building equipment to give them a push start to put up another structure for a home will be appreciated. They have all been scattered across various homes due to no accommodation and home structure at the moment.” V For more information on how you can assist the families, contact Bronwyn Edwards on 076 418 4106.