100 people displaced in two fires

About 90 people were displaced when a fire broke out at the Vygieskraal Informal Settlement.

About 100 people were displaced when two-double-storeys, and about 40 informal structures including wendy houses and shacks were damaged in two fires last week.

On Monday December 13, fire crews responded to a call about a double-storey house on fire in Rylands Road, Rylands, at about 6pm

By 8pm the fire was extinguished.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse, said the entire first floor of the double-storey house had sustained extensive damage and the ground floor only slight damage.

The fire had also caused extensive damage to the first floor of the double-storey house next door, and two bedrooms on the ground floor had also been damaged, he said.

Mr Carelse added that no injuries had been reported, but 10 people had been displaced.

“Crews from Ottery, Epping and Gugulethu were on scene. The causes are not yet known,” he said.

Two days before, on Saturday December 11, fire crews had responded to a fire at the Vygieskraal Informal Settlement in Canal Road, Belgravia, at about 2pm.

There, about 90 people had been displaced and 40 informal dwellings, including shacks and wendy houses had been damaged. Mr Carelse said the fire had been extinguished by about 5pm and no injuries had been reported.

“A total of 32 firefighters from various fire stations including Epping, Ottery, Wynberg, Salt River, Roeland Stree, Gugulethu and Constantia. The causes are not yet known,” he said.

Ward 46 councillor Aslam Cassiem, said residents claimed a gas stove which had been left on, had been the cause of the fire.

“Residents have started rebuilding their homes with the little that they have. The community is however urged to donate what they can,” he said.

Residents are trying to rebuild their homes with the little that they have left.

Vygieskraal Informal Settlement community leader Nosipwo Kori, said the fire started at the shack of one of the male residents who left home at 7.30am to go to work. She said the fire only started at 2pm so she doubted that it could have been caused by a stove that he left on.

“Residents tried to kick the door open but the fire had already spread. Residents don’t have any materials to rebuild their homes and we are trying to accommodate them in the homes which didn’t burn down but most of the residents sleep outside now,” she said.

She said that residents urgently needed toiletries, clothing, food, and blankets.

Spokesperson for the City’s Disaster Risk Management unit, Charlotte Powell, said the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) had been requested to assist the affected residents.

To help, contact Nosipwo Kori on 073 691 3234.