More than 60 shacks go up in flames in Kempton Park, scores of people displaced

2019-10-18 19:48
The aftermath of the fire which swept through an informal settlement in Kempton Park on Friday afternoon. (Supplied)

The aftermath of the fire which swept through an informal settlement in Kempton Park on Friday afternoon. (Supplied)

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An estimated 68 shacks went up in flames near Kempton Park, northeast of Johannesburg on Friday, leaving scores of people displaced, emergency services say.

Emergency services responded to the scene – in Pomona, a kilometre away from Kwa-Max informal settlement – just after 12:00, said spokesperson William Ntladi.

Ntladi said it was not immediately clear how many people had been displaced but said no casualties had been recorded so far.

"On arrival, scores of shacks were well alight, [with the] fire spreading towards the entire informal settlement and other brick and mortar structures in the vicinity due to strong winds blowing at the time."

READ: Gauteng govt vows to help those displaced by Kempton Park mass shack fire

Eight fire engines with 30 firefighters were on scene to battle the blaze. 

The fire was contained and extinguished within two hours.

"The cause of the fire is still a subject of investigation by fire safety officers. Preliminary information on the scene states that a lit paraffin stove was left unmonitored and burst into flames inside a shack which led to the fire spreading vigorously to the entire settlement." 

According to Ntladi, the owner of the shack where the fire is believed to have started is "nowhere to be found".

Ntladi expressed his disappointment at the latest fire, adding that last week firefighters visited the area to educate the residents on fire safety practices.

Last month, a fire ripped through an informal settlement in the area, leaving more than 900 people displaced.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  fire
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