Fires over the Christmas weekend wreaked havoc in Cape Town causing damages of millions of rand. Fires destroyed 82 shacks across Cape Peninsula, while seven houses were gutted by an inferno. The City of Cape Town’s disaster authorities say damages to property and household contents amounts to over R3.6 million.
Some of the areas affected were Delft, Elsies River, Kraaifontein, Tafelsig and Khayelitsha, Kalkfontein, Crosroads, Eerste River, Gugulethu and Phillipi. Police have opened two inquest dockets into fires for suspected arson. Disaster officials say human negligence is the main cause of the devastating fires.
After midnight on Sunday 28 December, a fire was reported at No. 63 RR Section off Mew Way in Khayelitsha. Four emergency vehicles were dispatched from the Khayelitsha Main, Lansdowne Road (Khayelitsha), Belhar and Mitchell’s Plain fire stations. The fire destroyed one shack leaving five people displaced. The fire caused damages to the property to the value of R2,000 and to the contents to the value of R2,000. It is suspected that the fire was caused due to an electrical fault.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, a fire broke out at Francis Street in Tafelsig in Mitchell’s Plain. The fire completely destroyed five shacks and three dwellings at Francis Street as well sd Daphne Close.
“One adult male was treated for smoke inhalation and by ambulance crew of Emergency Medical Services and transported to the Khayelitsha District Hospital. As a result of fire 51 persons were left displaced. The fire caused damages to the property to the value of R696,000 and to the contents to the value of R310,000. An inquest docket has been opened for suspected arson,” said Wilfred Schrevian Evan Solomons-Johannes, the acting head for the Disaster Risk Management Centre
At 22:35 on Saturday 27 December, a report of a house fire was logged at 74 Fort Worth Road in The Hague, Delft. Four emergency vehicles were dispatched from the Belhar, Kuilsriver and Mitchell’s Plain fire stations. The fire destroyed an entire room at the rear of the brick and mortar building as well as a backyard dwelling including the contents leaving five people displaced. The fire caused damages to the property to the value of R150,000 and to the contents to the value of R75,000. It is suspected that the fire was caused by open flames left unattended.
The City’s disaster response teams will provide hot meals, food parcels, clothing, vanity packs, blankets and building material to the affected victims.
“The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre makes a renewed appeal to residents to be fire safe when working with open flames. When going to bed, residents should isolate electrical devices and extinguish gas burners, candles, lamps and paraffin stoves in order to prevent fires,” said Solomons-Johannes. VOC