Family loses everything in IY blaze

Resident Priscilla Nomendo shows where the flames entered the top of her shack.

Relief efforts were continuing this week after a fire razed five shacks in Imizamo Yethu on Monday night, November 21.

While Hout Bay police say the fire, which affected 24 residents including two children, began as a result of faulty electrical cabling, the owner of one of the destroyed shacks, Phelekwa Mankunkwana, told the Sentinel a malfunctioning pre-paid electricity box in her shack had sparked the blaze, which quickly spread to others in the vicinity. “I have lived in Imizamo Yethu for 12 years, and now I have lost everything,” Ms Mankunkwana said amid the ruins of her home. “I was staying here with my two brothers and two children.”

She said the fire started at about 7.40pm. “We all had to get out quickly.”

While neighbour Priscilla Nomendo was fortunate not to lose her home, the huge flames sneaked through the top of her shack, causing irreparable damage to a number of her household appliances.

“I was at church, and when I got home, everything was burning in the area,” she said.

Ward councillor Roberto Quintas thanked the City’s Fire and Rescue services for stopping the fire from spreading.

The City had delivered starter kits to those left homeless to help them rebuild.

“Food and blankets for the victims will also arrive. However, there will be great need for more non-perishable foods, water, clothing, toiletries and other items,” Mr Quintas said.

Police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch said a woman had been treated for smoke inhalation while a man had sustained a cut to his leg while attempting to battle the blaze. They had been treated at the Hout Bay fire station.

Contact Mr Quintas at Roberto.quintas@capetown.gov.za or 082 042 3502 if you want to help the fire victims.