One dead and 120 displaced in Dunoon fire

Thirty homes were destroyed on Sunday morning in the blaze

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Photo of shacks after a fire
Residents of Dunoon set about cleaning up and rebuilding after a shack fire destroyed 30 homes on Sunday. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare

In the early hours of Sunday morning in Dunoon, a man lost his life in a fire that destroyed 30 wood and zinc homes and displaced 120 people. Two adults and a child suffered burn wounds.

A woman who spoke on condition of anonymity said she found her 32-year-old son dead among a pile of burnt poles and zinc.

“I believe my child was drunk and could not manage to escape,” she said.

‘“When I heard people shouting fire, I rushed out with a bucket of water, joining others putting out the fire,” she said, struggling to hold back her tears.

Her son had been staying alone in the shack for seven years, while she lived in a brick house next to his structure.

Her friend, Nonkululeko Matolo, said, “I lost all my possessions. My 9-year-old has no shoes and I am wondering what he will wear tomorrow to school.”

Matholo has three children, aged 2, 9 and 17. They were provided with porridge by the street committee. Last night, they were given shelter by a neighbour.

“This is I think the fifth time I experience fire destroying our shacks,” said Nomsapho Mpehle, who has been living in Dunoon for 12 years.

Mpehle, who is 38, said she was awakened by neighbours shouting, “Fire! Fire!”

She lost most of her possessions, including her bed, blankets, clothes and two-plate stove.

According to City of Cape Town Safety and Security the cause of the fire is still to be determined. The incident has been handed over to SAPS.

However, residents say the fire started when a man preparing food forgot to put out his paraffin stove and his shack caught fire. They say the man has run away.

TOPICS:  Housing

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