Over 2 000 left homeless in Hout Bay fire

2017-03-11 16:55
Firefighters battling the blaze that engulfed an informal settlement in Hout Bay. (Supplied: Paul Smith)

Firefighters battling the blaze that engulfed an informal settlement in Hout Bay. (Supplied: Paul Smith)

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Cape Town – Over 2 000 people are homeless after a fire destroyed at least 650 homes in Mandela Park informal settlement and surrounds in Hout Bay on Saturday, fire and safety spokesperson Theo Layne said.

Firefighters were still working on Saturday afternoon, with concerns over the vegetation on the mountain behind the destroyed homes.

Helicopters had been called in to assist and were dumping water, while firefighters on the ground tried to dampen down areas to prevent the further spread of the flames in the high winds.

"It is going to take the rest of the day," said Layne.

When the fire started early on Saturday morning, residents fled with their belongings from the narrow alleys between the corrugated iron houses to the safety of nearby tar roads, but two were trapped in the flames and died.

Fire engines had initially struggled to get closer because of the frightened people gathered on the road with their possessions.

Meanwhile, acting Democratic Alliance provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said the party would make sure that help is offered to the victims of the fire.

Nine people died in informal settlements around Cape Town.

In Witsand informal settlement near Delft, a man, woman, little girl and boy died when a fire swept through there overnight.

In the Kosovo informal settlement, a man, woman, and a child died when their home went up in flames.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

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