Assistance pours in for those affected by deadly Mitchells Plain fire

2016-06-13 17:42
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – Officials have offered different forms of assistance after meeting with the owner of a Mitchells Plain house, where a fire killed eight people at the weekend.

While police were still investigating the cause of the fire, various agencies met with Patrick Abrahams in Goodwood on Monday morning to draft a plan for counselling, relief and funeral arrangements.

Flames engulfed his small semi-detached house in Eastridge on Saturday morning.

The fire claimed the lives of Abrahams’s three children (3, 13, and 18), three grandchildren (18 months, 6 and 7), his son-in-law (35) and a family friend, 14-year-old Arafat Madat.

Five people, including Abrahams, were taken to hospital.

Madat was buried in accordance with Muslim rites, said JP Smith, the city’s safety and security mayoral committee member on Monday.

He said burial costs for those under 18 would be supported by Mayor Patricia de Lille’s discretionary fund.

The Western Cape social development department would cover funeral costs for those over 18.

Both the department and police had started providing counselling and support for those affected.


Smith said officials had not been able to identify the source of the fire, ruling it undetermined at this stage.

Forensic investigators were being flown in to assist.

“Claims that the fire was caused by electrical fault is premature and most likely inaccurate.”

As rubble was being cleared on Monday afternoon, a memorial service was underway in Eastridge.

Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba conveyed his deepest condolences.

"My pained heart goes out to the Abrahams family for the devastating loss they have suffered. We pray also for the whole Eastridge community at this time of trauma.”

The fire also damaged the home of Abrahams’s neighbour.

Smith said the neighbour's home was city rental stock and would be repaired in due course.

They were facilitating assistance for displaced backyarder tenants.

Disaster risk management and the Mustadafin Foundation were arranging donations for survivors, including clothing, mattresses, food and vanity packs.

Members of the public could drop off donations at their nearest fire station.

Various government departments would assist with replaced identity documents and social grant cards.

The SA Social Security Agency was assisting with once-off financial assistance for affected households.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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