Fire victims appeal for help

Fourteen people were displaced after a fire ripped through three shacks in Manenberg.

Victims of a fire in Manenberg are appealing for help after losing everything in the blaze.

According to one of the 14 people, Laura Mitchell, 36, the fire swept through three backyard shacks – home to six adults and eight children – on Monday July 15 at about 2pm.

The fire brigade had been called, but it had been too late to save anything.

Ms Mitchell said she did
not know what had caused the fire. The families are living in
the main house on the property while they wait for relief from the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre.

“All of our things are gone even the children’s uniforms and all our clothes and furniture. We have nothing left,” she said.

Another resident, Salvadore Bones, 28, said he was still in shock.

“I lost R875 and all our clothing is also gone, we have nothing,” he said.

Fire and Rescue spokesman Jermaine Carelse, said the cause of the fire was unknown.

To assist the fire victims, call Ebrahiem Bones at 074 733 1501.

In a statement, the City said informal settlement fires had dropped by 15% in the past year – from 150 to 127 cases. Fatalities had also dropped from 12 in June last year, to six this year.

But fires at formal residences had gone up 15% in the same period.

Fire safety tips

Ensure that the heater is off before going to sleep or leaving home.

Make sure all components like the heater, regulator and hose connectors of your unit are well-maintained and follow manufacturer guidelines closely.

Ensure that the room in use is well-ventilated. If it becomes stuffy, open windows and doors to allow fresh air in immediately.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas that can go completely unnoticed yet cause serious illness or, in severe cases, death due to poisoning.

Never place clothes or other items like towels over your heater. Do not move your unit while it is in use. First turn it off and wait for it to cool down a little before moving it around.

Keep heaters at least one metre away from all flammable objects including furniture, curtains, books and boxes.

Never leave a fireplace unattended, and ensure there are no hot embers remaining.

Keep matches and other ignition sources away from
children.

Switch off electric blankets at the socket and ensure that it is not left on throughout the night.