Bonteheuwel sees two house fires in a single day

A fire swept through this flat in Kameelboom Street, Bonteheuwel, last Wednesday.

Two separate house fires on the same day in Bonteheuwel last week have forced 11 people from their homes.

A fire started in Chestnut Street, at about 8.30am on Wednesday September 8, gutting the main house on the property and damaging one of two nearby wendy houses.

The three people in the house have moved in with a neighbour, but those in the wendy houses have not moved from their homes, according to the homeowner, Joan van Harte.

Firefighters extinguished the Chestnut Street fire just after 10am.

Ms Van Harte was at work when her neighbour phoned her to say the house was on fire.

“When I came home, the police and fire brigade were there, and everything was already destroyed,” she said.

Firefighters put the fire out just after 10am. It’s cause is unknown, according to City Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jermaine Carelse.

The house was gutted by the fire.

One man suffering from smoke inhalation had been taken to Vanguard day hospital, he said.

“Fire crews from Epping and Goodwood were on scene,” he said.

Fire damage to the Chestnut Street house.

At 2.45pm, there was a second fire, at a two-bedroom maisonette, in Kameelboom Street.

The blaze was put out at 3.25pm, but eight people were displaced and the cause of the was unknown, Mr Carelse said.

Concerned residents supported the family in Kameelboom Street, Bonteheuwel.

“Crews from Epping and Goodwood were on scene. Upon arrival, it was found to be a flatlet alight, and crews managed to contain the blaze to a single room, but the fire caused major damage to the roof. The remainder of the structure sustained slight smoke and water damage,” he said.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie appealed for donations to help get the families back on their feet.

“There are a lot of properties that do not have insurance. So, in most cases, the onus is on the owners to repair the damage, and most of the time it is not affordable for them,” he said.

“It is critical that private property get insurance. I can’t stress this enough. The impact is not only felt by the owner but also by other homes nearby. I have appealed to the community to rally together to help those that have lost everything because of the fires.”

Joan van Harte can be contacted at 065 575 3987.