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Shack fire tears through Cape Town settlement killing 2

A resident of the Vygieskraal informal settlement watches as a blaze engulfs hundreds of homes

Two people, one of them a four-year-old, died in a fire in Cape Town on Monday that left 1,200 people displaced. 

Fire and rescue services responded to the rapidly spreading blaze at the Vygieskraal informal settlement about 3pm on Monday. By the time it was extinguished at 7.30pm, it had engulfed more than 300 structures. 

“A strong southwesterly wind was fanning the flames and additional resources were called upon,” said the city’s Jermaine Carelse, adding that 12 firefighting appliances, a rescue vehicle, a specialised vehicle and 48 staff members attended the scene.

“While clearing the debris, two bodies were discovered burnt beyond recognition,” he said. 

The cause of the fire is unclear. The police are investigating.

Gift of the Givers has pledged support for the victims, offering tents, blankets, hygiene packs and non-perishable food, among an assortment of other items to help in the relief efforts. 

“It was a long, tough night as strong winds necessitated the callup of additional fire fighters to combat a raging fire at Die Vlei,” said spokesperson Imtiaz Sooliman

Unfortunately, two fatalities were recorded, one a four-year-old child, 325 informal dwellings destroyed, 1,200 people displaced, desperate victims taking huge risks to retrieve important documentation and what little they could of their life’s possessions in yet another tragic fire in an informal settlement,” he said. 

“Gift of the Givers, official partner to Cape Town Disaster Management, was immediately on site when the call came from the city; space was created close to the fire site where we set up camp, fed and provided drinks to both the affected residents and fire fighters, (who did a sterling job combating the fire for 12 hours), distributed blankets, diapers and sanitary pads,” he said.     

Source Sowetan Live              

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