Eight people have died after a massive fire destroyed their shacks (tin houses) in an informal settlement near Cape Town, authorities said on Monday.
“22 people from four shacks have also been displaced,” Theo Layne, the spokesperson for the Fire and Rescue Services, told Anadolu Agency via telephone from Cape Town.
He said the dead included two females, two males, three male minors and one female minor. Layne said he was not sure if all of the eight victims were from one family.
“Disaster management and NGOs are on the ground, assisting those affected,” he said, adding that they did not yet know what had caused the fire.
Shack fires are common in South Africa during the winter season, when poor households leave hot stoves burning throughout the night to keep warm. Sometimes a spark from the stove ignites the objects around it, causing a fire.
Once a shack is on fire, it is a matter of minutes before the blaze spreads because shacks are built very close to each other.