Mangolongolo residents left destitute after fire destroys shacks

Firefighters on the scene after a fire broke out at Mangolongolo Informal Settlement.

Mangolongolo Informal Settlement was hit by another fire on June 6 when 50 shacks were destroyed and residents were left destitute.

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A number of residents were left with nothing as all their belongings were burnt.

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Bella Mthembu, whose shack burnt down, said she was buying vegetables at the tuck shop when she heard people shouting “fire”.

About 50 shacks were destroyed when a fire broke out at Mangolongolo Informal Settlement.

“I ran back home and I saw my shack burning. I saw all my belongings burning and there was nothing that I could do to save it. We don’t know what caused the fire,” she said.

Another resident, Fundiswa Dlamini, said the informal settlement is no longer a safe place to stay.

“I have been staying here for the past 10 years. Every year we lose our shacks because of fire and we have to rebuild again. I lost everything during the fire. The clothes that I am wearing are the only thing that I own. We need proper houses,” she said.

The fire destroyed about 50 shacks at Mangolongolo Informal Settlement.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said EMS received a call around 11.30am about a burning shack.

“A number of shacks were ablaze when we arrived on scene. At this stage, we don’t know what the cause of the fire was but we suspect that a primus stove might have been left unattended. No fatalities were reported,” he said.

Firefighters on the scene after a fire broke out at Mangolongolo Informal Settlement.

Mulaudzi urged residents not be negligent when dealing with flammable items.

“During winter we experience an increase in the number of fire incidents. Most of these fires are caused by heating and lighting appliances which residents use, like candles and paraffin stoves,” he said.

Mulaudzi said EMS will be launching a winter fire safety campaign at informal settlements in Joburg East areas soon.

“The aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of fire incidents and fatalities throughout the city,” he said.

  AUTHOR
Mbavhalelo Malofha

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