Vandalised fire hydrants complicated firefighting efforts – Valhalla Park ward councillor

2017-12-27 19:48
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SEE: 7 pictures of the Valhalla Park fire

Christmas celebrations turned into disaster when 81 families watched their homes burn in Valhalla Park, Cape Town, on Tuesday morning. Aid organisations are assisting the residents to rebuild their lives.

Cape Town – Several homes in Valhalla Park could've been saved had fire hydrants not been vandalised, a ward councillor said on Wednesday. 

"Firefighters were forced a kilometre or two back when they arrived to vandalised water outlets," ward councillor Jonathan Cupido told News24. 

"Homes could've been saved, yes, but the wind was the main culprit: it pushed the fire right through the community."

City of Cape Town fire and rescue service spokesperson Theo Layne confirmed to News24 that firefighting vehicles were forced to replenish at hydrants which were not vandalised. 

"The damaged hydrants are reported but due to the ongoing vandalisation of same in all areas it remains a challenge to firefighters as well the staff carrying out the replacement thereof," Layne said. 

An estimated 300 people were left homeless in the informal settlement on Tuesday morning after a fire swept through the area. 

READ: 300 lose homes after Cape Town fire

City of Cape Town MMC for security and safety JP Smith said 81 families were being accommodated in the Valhalla Park community centre and several others in a nearby school. 

The city, together with its non-profit partner, the Mustadafin Foundation, is providing residents with three meals a day. 

"Starter kit building materials will be handed out to all registered families tomorrow morning," Smith said.

SEE: 7 pictures of the Valhalla Park fire 

Cupido, who has been involved in the distribution of aid in the community, encouraged members of the public to donate food and clothes to families in need. 

"Remember these are people who have lost everything. They have [only] the clothes on their back.

"Over this holiday period every little helps."

Donations can be dropped off at the Valhalla Park community centre where volunteers will distribute it. 

Alternatively, cash donations can be made to the South African National Zakáh Fund (SANZAF), which is active in the area.

SANZAF Western Cape's banking details are: 
Bank - Standard Bank
Branch Code - 025909
Account No - 072 792 205
Reference - Valhalla Park

Read more on:    cape town  |  fire

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