A fire has raged through Mandela Park in the Imizamo Yethu township in Hout Bay, in the Western Cape, destroying about 650 homes.
This is according to the City of Cape Town on Twitter, who said at midday on Saturday the fire was under control. The blaze is believed to have started after midnight.
The fire in Hout Bay is under control, approx 650 structures have been burnt, no increase in fatalities. #CTFire
— City of Cape Town (@CityofCT) March 11, 2017
The City of Cape Town also said in a statement on Facebook on Saturday that the City’s Fire and Rescue Services were at the scene of the fire in Mandela Park, with more than 70 firefighters carrying out mopping up operations. Crews were expected to remain on the scene to ensure the blaze was extinguished.
“No further fatalities have been reported but a proper search will be carried out before we leave the incident,” read the City’s statement.
The DA on Saturday afternoon offered its sincere condolences to the families of nine people who lost their lives in fires in Hout Bay since Friday and urged those affected by the blazes to “be vigilant of their own safety”.
DA Western Cape acting leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said in a statement: “I will visit the area today to offer assistance to those who have been affected. I have also visited Wesbank near Kuils River today, where a family of four people lost their lives in a fire. I will engage the Western Cape Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz, to request that those who have been traumatised by these fires can receive counselling from his department.”
The DA will continue to do all it can support those affected by these destructive fires.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) also reached out to assist those affected by the fires.
Lyall Pringle, NSRI Hout Bay station commander, explained: “Our sea rescue crews assisted with fire fighting, evacuation of residents and animals, delivering supplies, first aid treatment and our sea rescue 4×4 vehicle was used to assist to collect and transport patients from the upper reaches of the settlement, bringing them to the patient triage area at the Hout Bay Fire Station.
“Our NSRI medics assisted Western Cape Government Health Emergency Management Services (EMS), Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and Hout Bay volunteer EMS paramedics to treat patients suffering from mostly burn wounds at the fire station prior to patients being transferred to hospitals by ambulance.”
Pringle said a members of the public also assisted.
Later on Saturday, the NSRI crew was assisting the Domestic Animal Rescue Group to treat animals which were injured in the fire.
Fresh Air Hout Bay tweeted a video of fire fighters dropping water bombs from helicopters to extinguish the flames.
— Fresh Air Hout Bay (@FreshAirHoutBay) March 11, 2017
Many shared their photographs of the devastating fire on social media:
Fire at Mandela Park. Hout Bay jesus. pic.twitter.com/qOfsVIWxjz
— Peggy Karfilis (@ptypk) March 11, 2017
— Anria Kotze (@Anria_Kotze) March 11, 2017
— SlickNickSA (@SlickNickSA) March 11, 2017
— Robert Bloom (@DesignThinkerSA) March 11, 2017
Many who were not on the front line battling the blaze have taken to social media to rally support for the community members who have lost their homes by starting collection drives. Many have said that thousands of people are affected by the fire.
— Dean Horwitz (@mediamandean) March 11, 2017
If you want to donate to the victims of the Hout Bay fire, the snapscan code is for Thula Thula, a disaster relief fund here. pic.twitter.com/CZo3j27APt
— Kirst (@thejollyjammer) March 11, 2017
— Maja (@bell_jar) March 11, 2017