A fire in Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain, claimed the life of three-year-old Carlton-Lee Botha on Saturday morning.
The circumstances surrounding the fire at about 8am on Saturday that killed Carlton-Lee were unclear on Sunday.
City Disaster Management spokesperson Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said it was believed that Carlton-Lee was asleep in the shack with his father Hilton Botha when the fire occurred.
However, he later said Carlton-Lee’s mother, who was not in the shack at the time of the blaze, had told police that her son had been playing with matches. Only the Botha’s shack was burnt.
“The authorities will investigate the incident,” said Solomons-Johannes.
In Khayelitsha Town Two SST informal settlement about 150 people were left homeless after a fire which started shortly before midnight on Saturday razed 37 homes.
Residents said they were woken up by billowing smoke and said the owner of the shack where the fire started and fled the area.
“The fire started in a shack next me. When I woke up the smoke was inside my house. I only managed to save myself and my three children. I could not take anything out, the smoke was too much and I was worried about my children,” said a resident who did not want to be identified.
Solomons-Johannes said disaster response teams assisted the fire victims with the supply of food parcels, blankets, baby packs, clothing and building material, as well as including emergency psychosocial trauma counseling.
“We encourage residents to be fire safe when working with open flames. When going to bed, residents should isolate electrical devices and extinguish gas burners, candles, lamps and paraffin stoves in order to prevent fires,” he said.
He said there were also fires in Milnerton, Belhar, Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Boys Town Informal Settlement and Kalkfontien, this weekend, leaving “hundreds” of people homeless.
“The city will continue to provide all the necessary to assists all the fire victims. In SST informal settlement The City’s Solid Waste Management Department has been activated to clear the affected site from fire debris. At first light the City’s disaster response teams assessed the impact of the fire and made arrangements for the fire victims to be assisted,” he said.
Provincial police spokesperson said they did not know the Tafelsig fire had started but had opened an inquest docket. – Nombulelo Damba