No emergency shelter for hundreds left homeless in Cape Town fire

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About 564 people were left homeless following the blaze.
About 564 people were left homeless following the blaze.
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  • The City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management says no emergency shelter will be activated after more than 500 people lost their homes in a fire.
  • One person was killed, three firefighters were injured and a total of 195 dwellings were destroyed after a fire swept through Jim se Bos informal settlement.
  • Sassa will be providing meals for three days, as well as mattresses, blankets and vanity packs. 

The City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management says no emergency shelter will be activated for more than 500 people left homeless after a blaze swept through their homes in Philippi. 

One person was killed, three firefighters were injured and a total of 195 dwellings were destroyed after a fire broke out in Jim se Bos informal settlement in Philippi, on Sunday night. About 564 people were left homeless following the blaze.

"No emergency sheltering has been activated and residents have instead opted to stay with family and friends," Disaster Risk Management spokesperson Chantel Alexander said.

The Gift of the Givers foundation also pitched in to assist destitute residents with hot meals and water.

READ | Body of man recovered on Lion's Head after fire hampers rescue mission

According to the City's Fire and Rescue Services, they had responded to an emergency call that numerous wood and iron structures were burning shortly before midnight on Sunday.

"The response included 17 firefighting vehicles with 72 firefighters. As the conditions were not favourable, it took firefighters just under nine hours to extinguish the fire," Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Edward Bosch said.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) will be providing meals for three days, as well as mattresses, blankets and vanity packs. 

"The Department of Social Development will assist with psycho-social support for the affected persons," added Alexander.

Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said Philippi police were investigating after the body of an unknown person was found.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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