From the news desk

Still no clarity on what caused Hout Bay fire

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Police are still in the dark about started the fire which devastated the homes of over 1 000 people and left one man dead in a section of Hout Bay’s Imzamo Yethu on Boxing Day.

The fire broke out late on the evening of December 26 and strong winds quickly pushed it through about 250 homes.

More than a week later, most of the residents who were not away on holiday were close to completing the erection of the shack packs that the Western Cape government had given them during the emergency.

But, said Thula Thula Hout Bay organiser Joanne Chemaly at the weekend, they still needed to save up to buy cement for the flooring.

Residents and businesses had collected items that the residents might need, with some delivering mattresses.

However, one man said he was unable to sleep on his mattress because a burst water pipe was leaking water into his shack and he did not want to ruin his brand new mattress.

Another had lost specially made headgear he needed after suffering a severe head injury.

Until a new one was made, he would make do with a cricket helmet found in one of the boxes of donations.

Councillor Benedicta van Minnen, mayoral committee member for human settlements, said the children would probably also need uniforms and stationery for next year – items not specifically funded by the City.

The City had already provided the shack starter packs, she said. The shacks had not been sprayed with a fire retardant paint that the City was introducing to shack settlements to reduce the spread of fires that broke out.

A steering committee was in place to liaise with the residents of Imizamo Yethu over future development plans. News24

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