Hout Bay Fire: Lives Lost As Shacks Are Razed To The Ground


Hout Bay Fire: Not less than nine people including children have been killed in three separate shack fires in Cape Town’s shack settlements between Friday night and early Saturday morning.

According to City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesman Theo Layne, the city’s fire and rescue services were called to the first of three fires which broke out in Wesbank. Apart from destroying three homes in the area, the fire also killed four people including a boy‚ a girl‚ a man and a woman.

Again, the fire service’s attention was called to a huge fire at the Mandela Park informal settlement near Hout Bay which started just after midnight.

“Numerous informal structures were alight when they arrived‚” said Layne.

The Hout Bay fire claimed two lives and was still burning at mid-morning on Saturday.

While the settlement was razed down to ashes, residents fled with their belongings from the narrow alleys to the safety of nearby roads. However, two people were trapped in the flames and couldn’t make it.

“There are going to be hundreds of people displaced,” said Layne. Nevertheless, he added that disaster relief teams were on their way to assist.

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So far, an estimated 650 shacks were razed by the fire on Saturday in Imizamo Yethu‚ Hout Bay‚ leaving thousands of people homeless.

Speaking on the challenges they experienced while battling the fire, Layne said that they had to jump through people’s belongings which were scattered on the road as a result of the emergency evacuation.

Also, Western Cape Traffic spokesperson Kenny Africa said that the firefighting brigade had encountered hostility and had to withdraw at some point.

The fire which started during the early hours of Saturday morning was also reportedly spreading into the mountain above Hout Bay.