Shacks gutted by fire at Plastic View informal settlement

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More than 200 people have lost their shelters and belongings after their shacks were gutted by a fire at the Plastic View informal settlement, east of Pretoria. According to Tshwane emergency services, one patient was treated for smoke inhalation and moderate injuries, and transported to hospital.

Three were treated for minor injuries on the scene.

No fatalities were reported.

Emergency services responded to the fire in the early hours of the morning. They say they found multiple shacks ablaze and immediately started with fire fighting operations while protecting scores of nearby dwellings from catching alight as well. The fire was contained and subsequently extinguished.

“The Tshwane emergency services will intensify public awareness campaigns at this informal settlement as part of continuous education to the communities on fire safety and disaster risk education. The department calls on residents to use paraffin stoves with extreme caution; never leave open fires without adult supervision or unattended; never to overload electrical plugs with appliances. Illegal connections of electricity are a fire hazard, which residents should always be aware that it might lead to emergency incidents,” says Charles Mabaso, Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson.

Mabaso says the disaster management department, together with the city’s Department of Community and Social Development are coordinating relief efforts for the affected. He says the national and provincial Departments of Human Settlement have also been notified of the incident.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Last month, three people including a child, died and thousands of others were left homeless after a devastating fire ripped through the Cemetery View informal settlement east of the city.