More than 30 left homeless after fire

A fire has destroyed 13 shacks and left more than 30 people, including children, homeless in Walvis Bay’s Kuisebmund residential area.

No lives were lost during the fire, but a man and five-month-old baby sustained burning wounds.

The Chief of Protection Services in Walvis Bay’s Fire Brigade, Willie Van Zyl, told Nampa yesterday that the fire was caused by a candle used by one of the shack victims.

“There were some power failures on Friday and the shack owner used a candle,” he explained. It is suspected that a blanket might have caught fire, which then spread to the rest of the shacks.

Van Zyl said it is sad to see how many people were left homeless, but promised that the fire brigade would help find assistance in the form of bedding and food for the fire victims.

One of the people whose shack was reduced to ashes, Bonifatius Mahoma, told Nampa yesterday that the fire started on Friday night at around 23:00.

“All I remember is that the whole of Walvis Bay experienced electricity blackouts which started just before 20:00. These blackouts happened three times,” Mahoma said.
He said he was woken up by screams coming from one of the shacks and found that his family’s shack was on fire too. Mahoma said the fire brigade arrived at the scene at around midnight.

He stated that some of the belongings lost in the fire included beds, fridges, blankets, television sets, cellphones, Identification Documents, clothes and food which he estimated as being worth at least N$80 000.

Mahoma appealed for aid in the form of clothes, food and toiletries. He further noted that sleeping arrangements have been very difficult as all 32 fire victims now have to be accommodated by neighbours.

Approached for comment on Sunday, Walvis Bay Mayor Derek Klazen said he was aware of the situation, but had not visited the families to assess the damage caused by the fire yet.

He, however, confirmed that some form of support will be planned for the victims.

NAMPA - Walvis Bay
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