At least 54 people, including seven children, were left homeless when a fire destroyed 35 informal structures and damaged a further eight in Sea Vista, St Francis Bay on Sunday evening.
According to Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson, the fire was reported to the municipality’s Fire Department at 20:52.
Fire-fighters from the St Francis Bay station were on the scene within eight minutes. Back-up from Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp was also dispatched.
“The Kouga Fire Department, in conjunction with the St Francis Bay Disaster Volunteer Group (DVG), managed to get the fire under control at approximately 22:00,” he said.
“The municipal Human Settlement section is in the process of inspecting and clearing the area in preparation for the rebuilding of homes by the victims.
The affected families are being accommodated at the St Francis Bay Community Hall while St Francis Animal Rescue is attending to the affected animals.”
The cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed.
The municipality and DVG are calling for donations of building materials, furniture, household goods, clothes, and toiletries to assist the affected families.
Donations can be dropped of at the St Francis Bay Property Owners office at 28 Lyme Road South. Monetary donations can be made to FOSSFAR at Standard Bank, account number 186512139, branch number 050015.
Alternatively send an email to [email protected]
According to Benson, the municipality has assisted those affected with various items, including, Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE), while donations have also been received from various businesses, organisations and residents.
“We would like to express our condolences to those households that were affected by the fire,” said Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks.
“It is devastating to lose one’s possessions and shelter in this way. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”