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Hundreds displaced after fire rips through informal settlement in Hout Bay

06 September 2020 - 14:18 By Iavan Pijoos
Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said firefighters responded to the blaze in Imizamo Yethu at 2.18am.
Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said firefighters responded to the blaze in Imizamo Yethu at 2.18am.
Image: 123RF/Thuansak Srilao

Some 800 people were left homeless after a fire destroyed an estimated 200 shacks in an informal settlement in Hout Bay in the Western Cape in the early hours of Sunday.

Cape Town fire and rescue services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said firefighters responded to the blaze in Imizamo Yethu at 2.18am.

Carelse said Hout Bay firefighters responded, but had to call for more resources after a “swirling wind” created havoc.

He said about 80 firefighters from 14 different fire stations, with 20 firefighting appliances, battled the blaze.

The fire was extinguished at 11.48am.

Carelse said one firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation while hundreds of people were displaced. An assessment of the situation was ongoing.

Hout Bay ward councillor Roberto Miguel Quintas said no community members were injured.

“Currently we are working on approximately 200 structures destroyed and approximately 800 people affected.

“A team will be deployed to assist with clearing and starter kits to rebuild will be provided to residents on site as soon as possible.

“The city's disaster risk management has also begun approaching corporate sponsors to assist with basic items for those affected.

“The electricity department is already on site and will be working towards restoring all legal connections as soon as possible.

“I am grateful for the speedy response by services, and more so that it appears that no-one has suffered injury nor especially loss of life,” said Quintas.

— In a separate incident in Makhaza, three people were killed after an informal structure caught fire on Sunday. Three people escaped injury.

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