Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fires leave many displaced in the Cape Town area

Khayelitsha inferno that started in unoccupied shack leaves 150 people displaced

A fire at SST Informal Settlement, Town 2 off Lansdowne Road, Khayelitsha [next to Town 2 Clinic] broke out at 23:27 on Saturday, 19 January 2013.

The City’s Fire & Rescue Services swiftly responded and the first emergency vehicle arrived on the scene at 23:30.

At 02:55 the inferno was extinguished and the area was made safe by firefighters.

The fire destroyed 37 informal dwellings leaving 150 people displaced and the occupants of the shacks escaped injury.

The City’s Solid Waste Management Department has been activated to clear the affected site from fire debris.

At first light the City’s disaster response teams assessed the impact of the fire and made arrangements for the fire victims to be assisted with food parcels, clothing, blankets, baby packs and building material.

This morning eyewitness accounts told the City’s disaster response teams that it is believed that the fire was started at an unoccupied shack.

It is suspected that the blaze was either caused by a cooking device left on or as a result of open flames that was not extinguished.

Kalkfontein inferno destroys 5 houses and 2 backyard dwellings: 31 homeless

The City’s Fire and Rescue Services was called to a house fire in Kalkfontein at 12:34 yesterday [Saturday, 19 January 2013].

The fire spread rapidly and spread to neighbouring properties in Tania and Isabel Streets.

Upon arrival of the firefighters the community attempted to extinguish the fire with garden hoses and buckets of water; however the houses and backyard dwellings were engulfed in flames.

The brick and mortar dwellings sustained minor structural and roof damages; however the backyard dwellings were completely wrecked.

To each house and backyard dwellings the entire contents [furniture; clothing; personal effects; etc.] was also devoured in the fire.

At 13:58 the inferno was extinguished and the area was made safe by firefighters.

One female adult suffered smoke inhalation and was treated on-scene by paramedics and was in a stable condition – she refused to be transported to hospital for further medical treatment.

Unfortunately the City could not accommodate the families with emergency shelter as the dwellings are private property; however disaster response teams dispensed food parcels, clothing, blankets, and building material to the 31 fire victims.

The cause of the fire is undetermined and no one knows how the blaze has started.

The SAPS has opened an inquest docket to investigate the incident.

City’s building inspectorate declares building unsafe as vegetation fire spread

The Fire and Rescue Services was dispatched to a bush and grass fire incident at 16:33 yesterday [Saturday, 20 January 2013] that occurred in Blackriver Parkway, Garden Village, Maitland.

At 16:42 upon arrival of the firefighters an extensive area of vegetation was alight.

At 17:00 the fire spread to the reeds and neighbouring properties causing structural damages.

The firefighters successfully contained the fire around 17:39 from spreading bringing it under control.

A granny flat and a backyard dwelling were damaged by the fire.

The brick and mortar building [granny flat] has been declared unsafe by the City’s building inspectorate.

The City’s disaster response teams assisted 2 adults and 3 minors with social relief aid that includes food parcels, clothing, and blankets.

One building starter kit has also been issued to the fire victims that lived in the backyard dwelling.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Issued by: Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town

Source: Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, Head: Systems Integration, Special Projects & Disaster Operations, Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town

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