Phumlani Village residents are desperate for essential items after a fire gutted their homes.
Phumlani Village residents are desperate for essential items after a fire gutted their homes.

Phumlani fire leaves residents homeless

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Jul 30, 2021

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Cape Town - A fire that ripped through Phumlani village in Lotus River this week has left more than 60 people destitute and desperate for essential items.

The fire razed about 14 shacks in the informal settlement on Wednesday morning, and is suspected to have been started by a candle.

Community activist Beryl Williams said residents have been left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

“The situation is very desperate as the residents lost everything in the fire.

“The residents were asked to sleep over in the community hall overnight, as there was no other shelter for them.

“The City doesn’t provide the structure starter packs any more, so we are not sure when and how they can start to rebuild their lives.

“Some of them stayed with family, but the reality is that they are left with nothing and will now have to pick up the pieces.

“We were able to assist with food donations yesterday and on the day of the fire, but what the families really need is clothes, food and shoes,” said Williams.

A resident, who did not want to be named, said he had lost everything in the fire, despite making an effort to try and save a few of his appliances and school supplies for his children.

“I don’t know how my children will get to school. Everything is gone, and I feel defeated and don’t know how I will start to rebuild because it’s a struggle,” he said.

Disaster Risk Management spokesperson, Charlotte Powell, said 62 people were affected by the fire, 44 adults, 14 children and four infants.

“The Disaster Risk Management Centre submitted a request to Sassa yesterday for the provision of humanitarian relief,” said Powell.

Fire and rescue spokesperson, Jermaine Carelse, said they had responded to the fire in Merlin Street at 9.40am.

“Fire crews from Ottery, Wynberg, Mitchells Plain, Lakeside, Epping and Belhar were on scene.

Several structures were destroyed, leaving a number of persons displaced. The fire was extinguished at 11.23 and the cause is unknown,” said Carelse.

If you would like to donate, contact Beryl Williams on 082 732 6926.

Cape Times

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