Hundreds left destitute after fires in Cape Town

Residents in different areas were left destitute after fires destroyed structures. Picture: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

Residents in different areas were left destitute after fires destroyed structures. Picture: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

Published Dec 4, 2023


Humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers continues to provide aid to those affected by recent fires across Cape Town last week.

Hundreds of residents were left displaced as this fire season kicked off with fires in informal settlements.

The City of Cape Town’s spokesperson for Fire and Rescue Services, Jermaine Carelse, said on Thursday, November 30, several structures were gutted in Samora Machel.

He said fire and rescue services were alerted at 9.45pm of informal structures alight near Leonard Radu Road in Philippi.

“The extent of the fire required several resources on the scene, and crews from Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain, Goodwood, Lakeside, Lansdowne, and Wynberg were on the scene.

“A total of 10 firefighting resources and 35 firefighters managed to contain and extinguish the blaze by 3am which destroyed an estimated 30 structures and left nearly 70 persons displaced. An adult male sustained a laceration to his foot, and the cause of the fire is unknown at this stage,” Carelse said.

In the second incident at Brown’s Farm on Sunday, Fire and Rescue Services were also notified of structures alight in Bristol Road, Philippi, at 4.30am.

“Several fire crews were on scene, and in addition, the Incident Management Team (IMT) was activated to assist in stabilising the incident. A total of 14 firefighting appliances with more than 60 staff were on scene.

“By 8.45am, the fire was extinguished, which destroyed an estimated 140 structures and left over 400 persons displaced.

“The cause of the blaze is undetermined, and no injuries or fatalities were reported,” Carelse said.

Gift of the Givers spokesperson Ali Sablay said teams have been on site at the different locations since Friday, December 1, responding to the tragic scenes.

He said its teams were called by community members and Disaster Risk Management teams for assistance.

After site inspection, Sablay said 85 structures were destroyed in Samora Machel, leaving 235 displaced, and in Browns Farm, 130 structures were destroyed and 330 people displaced.

“Gift of the Givers teams are assisting families with hot meals, blankets, toiletry packs, mattresses, and baby care packs. Our teams are on standby for this period known as the fire season, working closely with the Western Cape Disaster Risk Management Teams and the Department of Social Development (DSD),” Sablay said.