More than 200 homeless as 45 Plastic View shacks in Pretoria, catch fire

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Lerato Mbhiza

Two-hundred-and-fifty people lost their homes and personal belongings after 45 shacks were destroyed by fire in Plastic View informal settlement in the East of Pretoria over the weekend.

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According to the City of Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson, Charles Mabaso, one patient was treated for smoke inhalation and moderate injuries and three were treated on the scene for minor injuries but refused transport to hospital.

“Emergency services responded to the scene after 04:33 and arrived on the scene to find multiple shacks on fire, and immediately started with firefighting operations, while protecting scores of unburned shacks from being affected.”

Mabaso said the fire was contained and subsequently extinguished. The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.

He said the emergency services will intensify public awareness campaigns at this informal settlement as part of continuous education to the community on fire safety and disaster risk reduction.

While pointing out that illegal electricity connections are a fire and life hazard and residents should always be aware that they might lead to emergency incidents.

“The department calls on residents to use paraffin stoves with extreme caution, never leave open fires without adult supervision or unattended, and never to overload electrical plugs with appliances.

“Tshwane Emergency Services Department Disaster Management, together with the city’s Community and Social Development Department, are coordinating relief efforts for the affected.”

Mabaso urged people to contact the emergency services when in need at 107 or 112 for ambulance services, both toll-free.

At least one person died, and 100 structures went up in flames when a fire broke out in Town 2, Khayelitsha, on Sunday. According to the City of Cape Town, Fire and Rescue teams were alerted at about 9pm of the fire.

Fire and Rescue spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said the blaze also claimed the life of one person.“A total of 12 firefighting resources with more than 50 firefighters battled to contain the spread of the blaze”.

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