Over 40 backyard dwellers in Factreton have been left homeless, after nine Wendy houses went up in flames in the early hours of Monday morning.
While authorities are still investigating, residents say the blaze was caused by an unattended candle that apparently tipped over.
Taron Lee Harvey, 24, says she heard the terrifying screams of her neighbours at five in the morning.
“My mother had just woken me up to ask me what time I was going to work. When I heard someone calling, ‘Waars Waanie, Waars Waanie’, I told my mother to go check, and that’s when we saw the whole place was on fire,” she says.
Taron jumped out of bed, grabbed her daughter and ran out as their neighbour’s shack was engulfed in flames.
They ran to the other structures, waking the rest of their neighbours before the fire spread to their homes.
Twelve children are among the 43 residents who were left homeless and lost everything in the fire.
Parents said they would be sending their kids to school in their pyjamas today as they had to write end of year exams.
Charlene Beyers, 38, who has been living as a backyard dweller for more than 10 years, says she has nothing left after the devastating fire.
She says City of Cape Town officials have visited the site, and offered them R1 000 to rebuild.
An emotional Charlene says: “A thousand rand won’t replace all the stuff I lost in the fire. Ek is hartseer, I don’t want money.
“I took my children to do Christmas shopping last weekend. Now all their Christmas clothes are gone, my five children have nothing for Christmas,” she cries.
Fire and rescue services spokesperson Liezle Moodie says authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.