Fire rips through set­tle­ment


The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Ve­lani Lu­didi

Quick-think­ing res­i­dents man­aged to save a bakkie parked near burn­ing homes.

Res­i­dents of Donkerbos in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Som­er­set West had to put their shoul­ders to the wheel on Mon­day to pick up a bakkie parked near a blaze en­gulf­ing sev­eral shacks.

In a short video, res­i­dents are seen try­ing to move a white bakkie parked in front shacks en­gulfed in flames. In the panic, the bakkie’s owner could not find his keys. Fast-think­ing neigh­bours tried to push the car to safety but the steer­ing wheel locked and res­i­dents had to pick it up to move it to safety.

The fam­i­lies liv­ing in nine shacks were not as lucky, as all of their be­long­ings were lost in the fire which started be­fore 6am. Some res­i­dents say they woke up to the sound of screams by neigh­bours, warn­ing them about the fire.

Res­i­dents rum­maged through their charred be­long­ings on Mon­day.

Lin­dell Lewis is un­em­ployed. “I don’t know where we will sleep tonight,” he said. “My mother re­tired, and I am un­em­ployed. It will be dif­fi­cult for us to re­build and we lost items which she pur­chased in De­cem­ber that were go­ing to last us un­til March.”

Res­i­dent Jacky Daniels, 55, says she lost ev­ery­thing.

“I heard loud shout­ing and I woke up. There was no chance to take out any­thing. I was lucky my dis­abled daugh­ter was not here be­cause the house was on fire when we got out,” she said.

The City of Cape Town’s spokesper­son for Fire and Res­cue, Jer­maine Carelse, said: “Four fire-fight­ing ap­pli­ances, a res­cue ve­hi­cle and 19 staff mem­bers man­aged to con­tain and ex­tin­guish the fire just af­ter 7am.”

He said no in­juries were re­ported and the cause of the fire was un­known.

The city’s dis­as­ter risk man­age­ment of­fi­cials said the SA So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency was in­formed to as­sist with hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief to 30 peo­ple. Build­ing ma­te­ri­als will also be is­sued to res­i­dents whose homes were de­stroyed, they said. – Re­pub­lished from Groundup

I heard loud shout­ing and I woke up. There was no chance to take out any­thing.

Jacky Daniels Donkerbos in­for­mal set­tle­ment res­i­dent

Pic­ture: Ve­lani Lu­didi

AFTERMATH. Fam­i­lies at Donkerbos in­for­mal set­tle­ment in Som­er­set West try­ing to sal­vage some of their be­long­ings af­ter a fire gut­ted about nine shacks on Mon­day morn­ing.

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