About 20 shacks demolished in raging fire at Sea Vista – photos

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Story and photos by Bev Mortimer

At least 60 people could be homeless after a big fire devastated about 20 shacks at Sea Vista township at St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape of South Africa this evening 4 April 2015.

 

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It is unknown what started the fire but the fierce winds caused the flames to jump from one shack to another as they are all in such close proximity.

The huge fire was still raging at 5.45 pm.  Two fire engines and plenty of firemen and volunteers including the St Francis Bay NSRI were on hand to help out. The place was teeming with police keeping a watchful eye and Dr Jean Malan was there in case there were any injuries or casualties. But just before 6 there had been no reports of casualties.

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Most of Sea Vista residents gathered in the streets  to watch the firemen battle with the flames. Many people clambered onto roofs to get a better view. It was impossible to get close to the shacks that were still burning and in flames as they were surrounded by smoke.  One could not approach too close without being overcome by smoke.

Furniture that could be salvaged was pulled out of shacks and left outside. It was estimated by bystanders that with at least 4 people per shack, between 60-80 people are left bereft and homeless right now.

The homeless people will have to shelter tonight with friends or in the hall. Some kind souls were handing out water bottles to the firemen. If anyone can spare a blanket or anything else for these people, can they drop it off at Sea Vista hall or at the police station.

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