FIRE: Usasaza Street
More than 500 people were left homeless on Tuesday when a fire ripped through the Usasaza Road informal settlement in Du Noon just after 5am.

Residents ran for their lives as the flames spread quickly, destroying over 100 shacks in an hour.

Nobody could confirm the cause, but one resident believed the fire was started by someone who had been cooking outside on an open flame.

The fire had then jumped onto another shack and quickly fanned out.

Spokesman for Fire and Rescue Services, Theo Layne, confirms teams responded at 5.30am.

“Approximately 100 informal structures were destroyed, leaving more than 500 persons displaced. No injuries were reported.

“The cause of the fire has not yet been established. Seven fire engines and three water tankers with approximately 42 firefighters from seven different fire stations responded to the fire immediately.”

The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management’s Charlotte Powell said a team was on site early on Tuesday morning to assess the damage and requirements of the residents.

“Disaster Management Officials are on site with other City Services and the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) are jointly making assessments to ensure that the residents affected by the fire are cared for, and to ensure that services are being restored,” said Powell.

“Humanitarian relief will be provide to the affected, solid waste will remove fire debris, the Informal Settlements Department will provide fire kits for residents to rebuild dwellings.”

She added that Shoprite Checkers has also sent their mobile kitchen to provide hot meals.

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