• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Wildfire engulfs 10 homes

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

A distraught child looks on to what was his home to see if he can salvage anything after a fire swept through Duncan Village.

Teary children from the C-Section of Duncan Village came home from school to find their homes burnt to the ground by a wildfire. Left with nothing but their school uniforms, they did not even have food for lunch. Women sat on the side of the road bottle-feeding infants, which was to be their last meal of the day.

Ten homes that house 26 family members from grannies to infants were burnt down by a wildfire believed to have been started by a neglected outside cooking fireplace that belongs to a resident who refused to connect illegal electricity.

When she arrived to check on her pots and found the burning scene, she got into a taxi and fled the scene, leaving behind neighbours who want her banished from the area.

“This is the third fire she has started this year alone. The last time 15 shacks burnt to the ground while she swiftly re-built her home and continued as if nothing had happened. We had just bought children clothes for Christmas, stocked up on food for the festive season, all of that is gone. No one had a chance to save their belongings because the fire spread so quickly,” said Bongiwe Rhwaxa (38).

“We need houses, we cannot live like this.”

Those that managed to take out their possessions had them stolen on the streets because everyone was busy trying to control the fire. Shacks in the area are congested and some share walls as most residents are unemployed.

“We have been here before, a month ago. In another case, up to 100 shacks burnt, that’s why today we brought three stations and 15 firefighters. The investigation has not been finalised to ascertain what keeps starting these fires. We suspect that it is the illegal connections. Luckily no one was injured,” said Andrew Davies, Platoon commander for the Buffalo City Fire Department.


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