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South Africa News

Fire destroys Polar Park informal settlement, leaving hundreds homeless

In a tragic start to the new year a fire ripped through the Polar Park informal settlement in Phillippi, Cape Town.

According to the Gift of the Givers, the fire occurred in the early hours of Sunday.

“Over 300 structures burnt out. Close to 1,000 people [were left] displaced and one female passed on. Gift of the Givers will be on site … to do urgent assessments. Humanitarian aid will follow,” the aid organisation said.

Ali Sablay of Gift of the Givers said the fire department was still on the scene putting out the last of the flames.

He said it was still unclear what had caused the fire, with some alleging it could have been a candle.

“The residents are traumatised. It’s a very poor community. Some say with the little December bonuses they had, they had bought school clothing and many have had their possessions completely destroyed.”

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