South Africa News

One dies in shack fire at Joburg informal settlement

One person has died after a fire engulfed several shacks at the Fleurhof informal settlement in Joburg on the West Rand.

City of Joburg Emergency Management Services said they received a call about multiple shacks on fire at the informal settlement just before 3 am this morning.

Body discovered

Joburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe-Kgiba said two fire engines and a water tanker were dispatched to the scene.

“On arrival the shacks were gutted with flames. Firefighters battled with flames because of windy conditions and fire hydrants nearby with low pressure. While conducting search and rescue the crews discovered one person who died.

“Fire Safety is conducting preliminary investigations to determine the cause and where the fire started. At the moment the city’s Disaster Management is on scene to assist the affected families,” Radebe-Kgiba said.

Precautions
Joburg Emergency Management Services have urged communities to take necessary precautions as cold and windy weather grips Gauteng.

Last week regional forecaster Gauteng Weather warned people to brace for yet another cold front.

The province has suffered a series of cold spells, including snowfall with the mercury dipping well below the zero-degree mark.

Gauteng Weather said the cold front was expected to hit Gauteng on Sunday.

“We therefore would like to urge all our residents to use all heating devices safely. This includes heaters, imbaula, paraffin stoves, candles. Not to leave them unattended while in use to prevent fire incidents at home during these extremely cold temperatures,” Joburg Emergency Services said.

Load shedding

The cold weather has also put pressure on the electricity grid.

Eskom interim spokesperson Daphne Mokwena appeal to all members of the public to reduce their electricity demand by switching off non-essential appliances, mainly geysers and swimming pool pumps.

“This will continue to alleviate pressure on the system and avoid higher stages of load shedding,” Mokwena said.

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