Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Number of homeless grows as fires blaze

The spate of  new year fires has continues - with around 100 more Capetonians losing their homes.

The most recent fire was in Pilanesberg road , in the informal settlement are of Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats.

The Vity of Cape Town's fire services spokesman, Theo Layne said yesterday that the fire had started at around 10pm - apparently fanned by strong south-easterly winds.

Layne said the fire services had predetermined action plans to deal with such area, which often did not have fire hydrants supplying water which meant that firefighters had to take water tanker trucks to the fires.

They had sent in two fire engines, a tanker and a rescue vehicle, operated by 15 firefighters, he reported.

Layne said the blaze had gutted around 30 shacks and 97 people were displaced.  It took the firefighters about two hours to extinguish the blaze.

A source at the scene said residents had worked frantically to remove valuables, such as appliances, from their homes, but many were then robbed.  Thieves loaded up trollies and disappeared into the night.

"As fast as residents could take their belonging to safety, so these were stolen when the residents went back to try to save more belongings," said a trusted source, who was at the scene.

Layne said there had been no injuries or fatalities.

The first fires of the year in the city - in Khayelitsha and Du Noon - left an estimated 4000 people with little more that the clothes they were wearing at the time of the blazes.

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