IIllegal connections shock firemen working in Jika Joe

2015-07-20 08:49
Firefighters work to subdue a fire that broke out in a building on Hoosen Haffejee Street. It is suspected that the fire was started by Whoonga addicts.

Firefighters work to subdue a fire that broke out in a building on Hoosen Haffejee Street. It is suspected that the fire was started by Whoonga addicts. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - A runaway fire at the Jika Joe settlement in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday morning left one person dead and over 100 destitute.

The Msunduzi Fire Department received a call for a fire at the settlement early on Sunday morning, spending the next three-and-a-half hours fighting the blaze. An Msunduzi Fire Department senior controller who would not be named said between 40 and 50 shacks were destroyed in the inferno, leaving over 100 people without homes. “One person died in the fire, but there were no injuries otherwise,” said the controller.

He added that not only had the firemen spent hours fighting the blaze, but the conditions were extremely hazardous with illegal connections “all over the place”.

“Three of the firefighters were actually shocked by live wires while they were trying to fight the fire. They were not severely injured because they were wearing protective gear.”

He added that the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

Msunduzi Municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said that Msunduzi Disaster Management had started setting up tents for those left homeless and handed out food parcels and blankets.

“We will continue to assist those in need and will work to establish the cause of the fire,” said Madonda.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fires

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