Johannesburg police are investigating the attempted murder of a man blamed by the Alexandra community for starting the fire that swept through about 150 shacks on Thursday.

This is alongside a probe into the cause of the blaze, which has displaced hundreds of people and caused aid organisations to appeal for donations.

It’s alleged that the man started the fire after he had a fight with his girlfriend.

Angry residents were about to stone him when police came to his rescue.

Gauteng provincial police spokesperson, Mavela Masondo, says details are not yet clear.

“As the police, we have opened a case of attempted murder. This is after a male person was allegedly attacked by the community who were blaming him that he is the one that started the fire. As for now, nobody has given us an official statement as to what happened.”