Two families were killed by shack fires in one week in the province.
A shack fire that broke out in an informal settlement near Despatch, Eastern Cape, has killed a mother and her four children.
As reported by SABC News, law enforcement and fire and rescue services were called to the Bayland informal settlement, where the 34-year-old mother lived with her four children, the youngest being 11 months old.
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According to police spokesperson, Gerda Swart, by the time officers had gotten to the scene, the settlement had been engulfed in flames, with a thick column of smoke clouding the sky. Unfortunately, at that point, there was nothing rescue officials could do to save the family
The cause of the fire has yet to be established. For now, the police have launched an investigation into the incident.
“The family resides in an informal home in a new area called Bayland outside Despatch. The names of the victims will only be released after the next of kin are informed,” Swart added.
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This is the second time a shack fire has claimed multiple lives in the Eastern Cape, in one week.
On Tuesday, 21 May, Port Elizabeth police were called to an informal settlement in Malabar, Extension 6 where a shack had caught fire.
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Inside the home were a 33-year-old mother and three children aged eight, 13 and 17. Similarly to the Bayland case, by the time rescue and police officers got to the scene, it was too late.
An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the incident. However, according to police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Alwin Labans, not much progress has been made on that front.