Domestic scuffle leaves 60 homeless after Hout Bay blaze

21 August 2017 - 10:08 By Aron Hyman
A ‘domestic scuffle’ allegedly caused the Hout Bay fire that left 60 people homeless on Sunday. File photo.
A ‘domestic scuffle’ allegedly caused the Hout Bay fire that left 60 people homeless on Sunday. File photo.
Image: Bruce Gorton

A fire that left 60 people homeless in Hout Bay in Cape Town is believed to have been caused by a "domestic scuffle"‚ said JP Smith‚ Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security.

The fire started just before 3pm on Sunday and spread quickly‚ gutting 20 shacks.

Hout Bay ward councillor Roberto Quintas said adequate spacing between blocks of shacks meant that fire engines could reach the fire easily.

This is in contrast to a disaster on March 11‚ when 5‚000 structures burnt down amid densely packed shacks.

"Superblocking would certainly prevent fires like the one that we saw on 11 March‚" said Quintas‚ adding that the burnt area may be only one block of homes.

"If the area wasn't superblocked we certainly would have battled to get fire trucks in there‚ because they sent four fire trucks and three tankers right into the scene‚ and they were able to contain the blaze to just 20 structures‚" he said.

"This is very unfortunate for the people who lived in them but when you compare that to 11 March or to what generally happens in an informal settlement‚ where you would be looking at hundreds of structures‚ this was a very quick blaze."

He said that the people would be allowed to salvage what they can from the ashes and the City would provide "starter packs" so that families can rebuild after the ash has been cleared.


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