Two dead, hundreds homeless after Cape shack fires 

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By Buziwe Nocuze

Two people have died and hundreds were left homeless after fires destroyed shacks in the Cape Town townships of Langa, Mfuleni and Dunoon at the weekend.

Nomaza Mvakwendlu from Langa was sleeping when she heard people screaming.

“Since it was a busy weekend, I thought the noise was coming from people who were drinking, until I heard one of them waking up her friends, saying she must run outside as the fire had already started burning her shack,” said Mvakwendlu.

“They couldn’t save anything, they lost everything.

“We couldn’t save our belongings because the fire was strong. I don’t know how it started, but I heard from people that it started on an electricity pole,” said Mvakwendlu.

“Most of our neighbours are at church, they won’t even know that their shacks burnt down because they switch off their phones when they are at church,” said Mvakwendlu.

The city’s Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said firefighters were kept busy throughout the night.

At 7.20pm on Sunday, they received a call about fires in Langa township.

“We had 11 firefighting vehicles with approximately 40 staff, and by 9.40 pm, the fire was extinguished, with no injuries or fatalities reported,” said Carelse.

They had to return to Langa township where a second fire broke out.

At about 2.30am on Monday, another fire started in Mfuleni, in which two people, a man, 28, and a woman, 25, died.

A total of 339 structures were destroyed in the fires, affecting 759 residents.

Pictured above: Fires in Langa, Dunoon and Mfuleni over Easter left two people dead and hundreds of Cape families homeless.

Image source: Buziwe Nocuze


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