Fires bring death, destruction

Personal belongings were destroyed, families were displaced and people lost their lives.

04 August 2020 | Disasters



At least nine people have lost their lives in the 13 house and shack fires that were recorded over the past three weeks.

Police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, said personal belongings were destroyed, families were displaced and people lost their lives.

“The worse fire incident happened at Walvis Bay in the Twaloloka location, in which half of the location burnt down and one life was lost.”

Shikwamabi said fires also wreaked havoc in Grootfontein, Rehoboth, Oshikango, Pioneers Park and Mondesa. At least five separate fires were reported last week in which a house and 12 shacks burnt down, and four people lost their lives.

Shikwambi said the latest fire happened in Swakopmund's DRC settlement, where a family of six was sleeping when a blaze started in the children's bedroom.

The shack owner, 42-year-old Shimpanda Hileni, her four-year-old daughter Pomwene Shimpanda and her seven-year-old granddaughter, Helena David, lost their lives.

According to the police, seven shacks were also reduced to ashes last Wednesday morning at Helao Nafidi.

It is suspected the fire was caused by an electrical fault in one of six shacks that are connected to a main shack that had a prepaid electricity box installed.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Cause unknown

In another incident on Sunday at Swakopmund's Mondesa location, three shacks completely burnt down after a fire started in one and spread to two other shacks.

The fire started while a woman was sleeping.

The cause is not known.

The woman sustained minor burn wounds on her left arm.

According to the police, when the first responders arrived at the scene, community members blamed them for taking too long.

This resulted in the situation escalating, and during the unruliness, a fire truck was damaged.

Other blazes

In a separate incident at Rehoboth last Thursday, a corrugated zinc shack burnt down and a 64-year-old man died in the fire. The cause is unknown.

On Saturday in Pioneers Park in Windhoek, a house burnt down, allegedly because of an electrical fault.

No one was injured in the incident.

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