Reports say at least two people were killed in a fire that broke out at the Vygieskraal informal settlement in Athlone on Monday. Fire and Rescue Services spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said he was notified about the fire at about 3.15pm.
At least 325 informal settlements were destroyed and 1 200 people displaced as the blaze gutted Vygieskraal informal settlement.
Carelse says twelve fire fighting appliances, a rescue vehicle, specialised vehicle and 48 staff members were dispatched to the scene.
He says two people were burnt beyond recognition and one person was treated for smoke inhalation and rushed to a hospital. The fire was contained at about 7.30 this evening and completely extinguished at around 10pm.
Carelse said the Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRM) assessed Vygieskraal informal settlement last night which gave them an indication of the fire’s devastation. This morning the DRM team said that they were still busy with assessments, and would provide feedback at a later stage.
ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said he denounced the unbearable and inhumane conditions under which people were living in informal settlements throughout the Western Cape.
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Two children die, 300 shacks destroyed in Athlone fire To: All media From: The MP for Athlone, Faiez Jacobs Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 THE ANC Athlone Parliamentary Constituency Office regrets to announce that two children died and 300 shacks were destroyed in a fire that ravaged Vygieskraal informal settlement on Monday night. The MP for Athlone Faiez Jacobs said in a statement: “We are sad and very angry about the loss of life and the destruction of dwellings. We want to express our solidarity with the people of Vygieskraal.” Jacobs denounced the unbearable and inhuman conditions underwhich people are living in informal settlements thtoughout the Western Cape whiltz year after year the City of Cape Town fails to spend its budget allocation for housing and called for communities in informal settlements to unite and demand their constitutional right to safe and adequate housing. He says that the MEC for Human Settlements Mr Simmerrs must be called to account for the loss of lives at Vygieskraal. He added: “As a community we must come to the assistance of those affected and extended his heartfelt gratitude to the faith-based community lead by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of SA as well as Gift of the Givers who have rallied around and aided the displaced comnunity. We call for public donations, be it food, clothes or anything that can help people who have been left destitute, to be dropped off at our Parliamentary Constiteuncy Office at Morning all. Ebfin Bldg 1 George Street Athlone. Above PEP STORES ATHLONE. For further information please contact Ms Michel Assure at +27 76 111 8590ĺ
Jacobs said the ANC Athlone Parliamentary Office were saddened and angry at the loss of life and the destruction of dwellings and expressed solidarity with the people affected.
Gift of the Givers, stepped into action last night, donating hot meals, coffee and bottled water to resident and firefighters at the scene,they also donated blankets, nappies and sanitary pads.
Tents, blankets, mattresses, building material, hygiene packs, non-perishable food, stationery, new clothing, linen, towels, cooking and eating utensils are priority replacement items that will go a long way to ease the material loss of a people who have to deal with the psychological, emotional and traumatic aspects of this disaster.
All contributions most welcome.Cash into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg – Account number 052137228, Branch Code 057525. Ref. Die Vlei Fire.
More: Cape Argus