A hairdresser burned to death while horrified community members from Nomzamo in Strand could only watch in horror.
The helpless man screamed behind his burglar gates until his last breath yesterday morning.
Community leader Thulani Nonyati says: “A fire started around 4am in the morning and we got out and tried to get to safety.
“We heard the man screaming for help, we tried to open the gate but we couldn’t.
“He couldn’t find the keys at the time we gave up, the gate became too hot to handle and sadly, the people watched helplessly as he died in the fire.
“We are all still shocked and we know we did everything we could do to save him.”
Residents say the victim was a foreigner and they don’t know if he had family in Cape Town.
Nonyati tells the Daily Voice more than 40 shacks were destroyed by the blaze.
“More than 200 people have been displaced and what is upsetting is that the City will not provide for us.
“Most people here don’t work and we depend on them for supplies. body copy_bold: “We really need help in rebuilding.”
City’s Fire and Rescue spokesman Jermaine Carelse confirmed the incident.
“The City’s Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the fire in New Village informal settlement,” Carelse adds.
“At 5.30am the body of an adult male, who was burnt beyond recognition, was found among the debris – and by 7.23am the fire, the cause of which is unknown, was extinguished.”