20 October 2018

South Africa: One Dead, Up to 500 Homes Destroyed in Khayelitsha Blaze

Photo: Vincent Lali/GroundUp
The aftermath of a fire in Khayelitsha that left more than 1300 people homeless.

One person has died and up to 500 homes have been destroyed in blaze which broke out in Khayelitsha in the early hours of Saturday, the City of Cape Town has confirmed.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said a suspicion of a second fatality had not yet been confirmed.

"The fire is just about contained now," he said at 09:00. "[Firefighters] are busy damping down and relief crews are en route."

Fire services divisional commander Edward Bosch said firefighters responded to numerous wood and iron structures alight at Charles Mokoena Street shortly after 04:00.

A total of nine fire engines, seven water tankers and a rescue vehicle with 65 fire fighters were on scene, but efforts had been hampered by strong winds, he said.

The cause of the blaze had not yet been determined.

Disaster management would be coordinating relief efforts.

Source: News24

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