Saturday, 30 March 2013

“Good Friday” fires result into misery for Cape Town families – over 100 people homeless

KALKFONTEIN: A blaze occurred at 18:56 on Friday, 29 March 2013 at Elmaree Street in Kalkfontein. Firefighters from Kuils River, Belhar, Strand, Bellville, Lansdowne, Mfuleni, Goodwood, Ottery; and seasonal firefighters on standby at the Epping Fire Training Academy were dispatched to the incident. The blaze destroyed 21 shacks that spread and affected 1 formal dwelling. The firefighters managed to extinguish the inferno at 20:30 and made the area safe.

GUULETHU: A fire occurred at 20:45 on Friday, 29 March 2013 at the Lusaka Informal Settlement situated off Old Klipfontein Road, in Gugulethu. The City dispatched firefighters from the Lansdowne Road, Gugulethu, Strand, Belhar and Gugulethu fire stations that arrived at 20:52. The firefighters brought the fire under control at within 17 minutes within 17 minutes [21:08] from their time off arrival. The fire destroyed 4 informal shacks that were backyard dwellings. Prior to the arrival of the emergency crews the occupants attempted to extinguish the blaze with buckets of water. It is suspected that the fire was started from a short circuit in electrical wiring insulation.

FISANTEKRAAL: At 21:42 on Friday, 29 March 2013 a fire occurred at the Fisantekraal Informal Settlement area near Durbanville. Firefighters from Kraaifontein, Durbanville, Milnerton, Goodwood, Brackenfell, Bellville stations were dispatched to the incident. The inferno destroyed 11 shacks and left 41 people displaced that include 25 adults and 16 children. It is suspected that the fire was caused by a lighted paraffin stove that overturned and ignited.

MASIPHUMELELE: At 23:59 on Friday, 29 March 2013 a fire was reported at Site 5: Masiphumelele Informal Settlement, c/o Kanana and Masibolo Streets. Firefighters from Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town, Constantia, Lakeside and Ottery were dispatched to the scene and brought the fire under control at 01:01 this morning [Saturday, 30 March 2013]. The fire destroyed 25 shacks that spread and also destroyed 3 formal houses. This morning 58 adults and 2 babies were left displaced following the fire. One adult female suffered smoke inhalation and was provided with treatment by paramedics on-scene. One adult male that was standing on a roof top of a shack fell – it is suspected that he fractured his ankle and was transported to False Bay Hospital for further medical treatment. The firefighters brought the fire under control and extinguish it at 02:40 this morning [Saturday, 30 March 2013]. As a result 60 people were left homeless (58 adults and 2 babies). It is suspected that the cause of the fire was as a result of open flames overturning and igniting bedding.

Disaster response teams at hand

The City’s disaster response teams rushed into action and assisted the fire victims with the supply of food parcels, blankets, baby packs, clothing and building material.

The City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre encourages 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.

For more information on how to prevent fires please visit City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre on www.capetown.gov.za on www.capetown.gov.za/disaster.

End

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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