Fire victims appeal for donations

A fire broke out at this house in Juniper Street, Bonteheuwel.

The families affected by a fire which damaged three houses in Bonteheuwel earlier this month are appealing for help.

The fire started at 34 Juniper Street on Thursday June 3 at about 9.20pm and also damaged two other houses at 30 and 32 Juniper Street. The fire was extinguished about an hour later, displacing eight people, said the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service spokesman, Jermaine Carelse.

“Number 34 and 32 were badly damaged and number 30 had smoke damage. Epping and Belhar fire crews responded to the incident,” he said.

“The cause of the fire is unknown and no injuries were reported.”

The roof of the house was completely damaged in the fire.

Delsema Matu, who lives at 34 Juniper Street with seven other people including two children aged 5 and 2, said the family was asleep when the neighbour down the road woke them up.

By the time they woke up the one room was on fire and it quickly spread to the rest of the house, she said.

Ms Matu said that while she is unsure about the cause of the fire she suspects the fault to be at the electricity box as it often sparked when there was load shedding.

But, she added: “We are just grateful to be alive. Things could’ve turned out much worse, but God is good and we are satisfied,” she said.

The family lost most of the contents in their home.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie, said this had been the sixth fire in the area this year.

“Visiting the property was a rather traumatic experience, to see that despite losing everything and their home being completely destroyed their faith and hope remains strong. I am appealing to the greater community of Bonteheuwel to assist wherever they possibly can to help this family rebuild the ruins they woke up to this morning,” he said.

Mr McKenzie appealed to families to take precaution when using candles this winter and to make sure that children were kept safe and educated about fire hazards.