South Africa

Pretoria North informal settlement ravaged by fire

About 350 residents of the Koos de la Rey informal settlement in Pretoria North were displaced after scores of shacks were charred by a fire on Thursday afternoon.

Tshwane emergency services (EMS) spokesperson Deputy Chief Charles Mabaso said the service responded to the scene at an informal settlement around 15:50.

He said when emergency personnel arrived on the scene, multiple shacks illegally built inside and outside the abandoned factory were on fire.

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Firefighters battling the blaze. Image: Tshwane Emergency Services Department

He said two had to be taken to hospital for smoke inhalation: one to Steve Biko and the other to Tshwane Hospital.

Both were discharged later on the same day.

Mabaso said the disaster risk management section in the EMS activated multiple stakeholders to provide relief to about 350 residents of the informal settlement.

The Gauteng EMS provided a bus and a minibus to relocate the displaced residents to a temporary shelter at Pretoria North Community Hall.

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Firefighters on scene. Image: Tshwane Emergency Services Department

He said about 220 blankets and 71 mattresses were issued to the affected residents.

The Gauteng EMS, police, metro police, Gauteng human settlements, health department, Tshwane human settlements, community and social development services, CPF and the ward councillor worked together to manage the impact of the incident.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and is still being investigated.

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