One man died and nearly 20 people were left homeless after a fire destroyed seven shacks in Worcester.
Willem Flink, 49, says he woke up shortly before 1am yesterday when he heard his brother Samuel “Boere” Flink, 44, screaming for help.
“I couldn’t help him because the flames were too high and later I heard him go quiet,” says Willem.
The flames quickly spread to his hokkie in Wentzel Street 17 in Roodewal before destroying four other structures at number 15 and 13.
Sunette Sam, 42, says she and her neighbours lost everything.
“Ek het nie eens meer ’n panty of ’n ID nie,” she complained.
Sunette feels the damage could have been minimised if fire services responded sooner.
“First they took long to arrive and then the first truck didn’t have water,” she claims.
Resident Rhodney Visagie adds: “It is quite disturbing that they had to search for a hydrant but none in our area worked.”
But Breede Valley Municipality spokesperson Johan Botha has denied these allegations.
According to Botha, five vehicles with 12 firefighters responded to the scene immediately.
“It might be that one hydrant in the area didn’t work but the vehicles had enough water making a fire hydrant unnecessary,” explains Botha.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk says the cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.
“An inquest was opened for further investigation,” he adds.