Two die in Philippi fire

Neighbours tried but failed to put out shack fire with buckets of water

Photo of Deon Kaombe

Deon Kaombe’s shack was burnt and he lost his belongings. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare

By Bernard Chiguvare

26 March 2018

A woman and a child died when their shack caught fire on Saturday morning in Sweet Home Farm, Philippi.

According to the City of Cape Town eight people were displaced. The cause of the fire is unknown. The South African Police Service (SAPS) is investigating.

A shaken Nomakhaya Sinkwane, the daughter of the woman who died, said she was told by her neighbours at about 7am that her mother’s shack was burning. “I rushed there but could not help since the shack was all in flames,” she said. Neighbours had tried to put out the fire with buckets of water.

Four people stayed in the shack but two had been away since the Friday night. Sinkwane’s 56-year-old mother had stayed in the shack for almost 15 years. Beds, food stuff, clothes and blankets were burnt to ashes.

Denn Kaombe, a security guard whose shack was also burnt, was busy removing the remains of his burnt belongings. He lost blankets, two refrigerators, a television and clothes. “I was on my way home from night shift work when a friend called me. When I arrived it was too late. All my stuff was burnt,” he said. “I do not know where to start now. If we do not get material for rebuilding the shack today I then have to request friends for accommodation.”

According to neighbours emergency workers responded swiftly and put out the fire.