South Africa

250 people left homeless after fire guts 45 shacks in Plastic View informal settlement

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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 on Saturday morning.


The City of Tshwane Emergency Services Department responded to a fire incident involving 45 shacks on the day.

According to the EMS spokesperson Deputy Chief Charles Mabaso, one patient was treated and transported for smoke inhalation and moderate injuries and three were treated for minor injuries on the scene but refused transport to a medical facility.

Mabaso said 250 people lost homes and personal belongings because of the fire.

“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.”

He said the fire was contained and subsequently extinguished.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.

Mabaso said that 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.

“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.”

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

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

The national and provincial departments of human settlement have been notified of the incident.

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

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